Return GOP, repeal and replace law

The trillion-dollar healthcare overhaul passed last month was a step in the wrong direction for this country, plain and simple. It is absolutely imperative we repeal this monstrosity of a bill in favor of legislation that expands free market principles, enhances consumer-based decisions and, most importantly, recognizes our liberties. Within hours of the final vote on ObamaCare, I went straight to work drafting a repeal bill, and it couldn’t be easier to understand — only 41 words to get rid of 2,000 pages of legalese, loopholes and massive liabilities.

While most Americans agree reforms need to be made to our nation’s healthcare system, they also want it done responsibly.  Americans don’t want reform to mean they have even less control over their health insurance and healthcare decisions. Putting government in charge of the coverage and costs of care was not what they were looking for.  Most certainly, reforms made to spend less, not more, would’ve been helpful.  But those considerations are certainly not paramount in the legislation that was passed. 

The president and his advisers can continue to sell the reforms as cost-lowering, coverage-increasing measures; but talk is cheap. In Massachusetts, a state with a remarkably similar arrangement to the Democrats’ bill, including a purchase mandate, a government subsidy and an exchange system — the writing is on the wall.  The situation is so bad; Massachusetts Treasurer Tim Cahill went on national TV in March to plead “the federal government, Democrats, and Obama not make the same mistake Massachusetts made in 2006.  There is a reason people in Washington want this to pass so quickly,” he warned, “we’re going to be paying a lot more money.”

In a grand display of arrogance, the president ridiculed those Americans speaking up against this bill at Tea Parties throughout the country last week, but it is obvious the president is ignoring the numbers. A month after the healthcare reform bill was signed into law, a Rasmussen poll found 56 percent of the nation’s likely voters want the bill to be repealed. Couple that statistic with the 19 states filing a lawsuit challenging the president’s bill, and it is pretty clear the American people are not buying what the Democrats are selling.

What we need to do is return a constitutional conservative majority to Congress in 2010 and take back the White House in 2012 so ObamaCare can be repealed in 2013.

But, repealing this monstrosity of a bill is only half the battle. We then need to replace ObamaCare with common sense reforms that won’t break the bank. 

For example, the first bill I introduced as a member of the House was a few short pages. My Health Care Freedom of Choice Act would increase patient choice in insurance coverage, lower costs to families and governments, and break down one substantial barrier that restricts choice- tax preferred employment based coverage. 

In this age of massive unemployment, the tax code needs to recognize that health insurance should be equally available whether or not an individual chooses to purchase that coverage through their employer.  We cannot continue to unfairly disadvantage individuals looking for coverage outside the limited choices offered by their employer, which often offers little appeal beyond its tax-free status.

It is common sense solutions like these that Americans can get behind. It puts the principles of freedom and individual choice first, and reminds us that the government should work for us, not against us. Repealing ObamaCare and replacing it with common sense reforms is not just the first step, but also the only step, that Congress can make to satisfy the American people. After all, government answers to the people, not the other way around.

Bachmann is a member of the House Financial Services Committee.