Camp: Health Care Will ‘Deter Hiring’

medicinecure1

Ways and Means chair opens hearing on health care law’s impact on jobs and economy.

Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI)
Committee on Ways and Means
Hearing on the Democrats’ Health Care Law’s
Impact on Jobs and the Economy
January 26, 2011

(Remarks as Prepared)
Washington, DC – Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) today delivered opening remarks at the Committee on Ways and Means Hearing on the Democrats’ Health Care Law’s Impact on Jobs and the Economy.  Below are excerpts, followed by the full remarks.

Health Care Law’s Negative Impact on Employers
“As signed into law, the Democrats’ health care law imposes more than one-half trillion dollars of tax increases and thousands of pages of mandates and onerous regulations on employers. My friends on the other side of the dais have argued that we shouldn’t be debating health care anymore, that we need to move on and focus on jobs and the economy.  What they fail to recognize is that employers of all sizes are expressing concern that the new mandates and regulations will deter them from hiring new employees, threaten their ability to retain existing workers, and harm their ability to increase wages for existing employees.”

Today’s Hearing is the First Step

“The hearing today is just our first of many with regard to the health care law.  It is my intention to give the American people and employers (big and small) the opportunity they never had when this law was being written – to testify in an open hearing about the impact the law will have on them.” ###

I want to start by reading the following quote: “I know one of the things that’s come up is that the 1099 provision in the health care bill appears to be too burdensome for small businesses.  It just involves too much paperwork, too much filing.  It’s probably counterproductive.  It was designed to make sure that revenue was raised to help pay for some of the other provisions, but if it ends up just being so much trouble that small businesses find it difficult to manage, that’s something that we should take a look at.  So there are going to be examples where I think we can tweak and make improvements…” That was President Obama on the day after the November elections.  The President was saying the health care law “appears to be too burdensome for small businesses.” That it “involves too much paperwork, too much filing.”  Last night, in his State of the Union address, the President again referred to 1099s as a “flaw.” More importantly, the President asked us to identify and bring to him items that need to be fixed.  Clearly, in a bill that is over 2,000 pages long there is more than just the 1099 provision we need to address. With the unemployment rate stuck above 9 percent for the last 20 months, with my home state’s unemployment rate at nearly 12 percent, I have one simple question today: How is it that Congress passed a health care bill that is “counterproductive” to American employers – especially at a time when we need to be looking for solutions that encourage, not impede job creation? That is the focus of our hearing today – the health care law and its impact on the economy, on employers and their workers.  As signed into law, the Democrats’ health care law imposes more than one-half trillion dollars of tax increases and thousands of pages of mandates and onerous regulations on employers.  My friends on the other side of the dais have argued that we shouldn’t be debating health care anymore, that we need to move on and focus on jobs and the economy.  What they fail to recognize is that employers of all sizes are expressing concern that the new mandates and regulations will deter them from hiring new employees, threaten their ability to retain existing workers, and harm their ability to increase wages for existing employees.  The new health care law compounds the uncertainty employers and entrepreneurs are facing amid the most challenging economic climate since the Great Depression. 

Making matters worse, many insurance companies and employers have already increased their health care premiums to comply with the new health care law, exacerbating the drag on the U.S. economy from rising health care costs. That is the problem with a health care law that puts Washington, DC – the federal government – at the center, instead of patients and doctors.  When you take a “Washington knows best” approach to legislation, you usually end up with a bill that only works for Washington, instead of working for the American people. At the end of the day, the health care law:

Fails to control costs; 
Fails to let Americans keep the insurance they have and like (despite the President’s promise); 
Fails to protect jobs; 

Fails to ensure seniors have access to their doctors and hospitals; and,
Fails to prevent tax increases from hitting middle class families and the small businesses we need to move our anemic economy forward.

The hearing today is just our first of many with regard to the health care law.  It is my intention to give the American people and employers (big and small) the opportunity they never had when this law was being written – to testify in an open hearing about the impact the law will have on them. We know what the experts have said. 

We all know that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that the health care law will increase premiums for millions of families by up to $2,100 on average, by 2016 ($3,200 more expensive than the Republican Alternative I offered last Congress).  

We all know that the Obama Administration’s own officials have predicted that as many as 7 out of 10 employers will have to change the coverage they offer to their employees because of the law.

We all know from the Joint Committee on Taxation that there are well over $500 billion in new taxes – many of which will hit middle-class families and small businesses.

That is what the experts have told us.  Today, we will hear something different – what real employers think about this law and what they think the impact will be on their businesses and their employees.

I look forward to hearing this testimony, and getting more of this sort of insight in the future. After all, these are the very people who have to live with the decisions we make here in Washington.
  ###  

Related Topics: Healthcare, Issues

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  • Tweets

    View More Tweets From @TIME

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 245 other followers