Boehner Column: State Leadership and Congressional Oversight Are Key to Stopping ObamaCare
Today, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released the following column discussing Governor John Kasich’s decision to not implement a government-run “exchange” under the president’s health care law and resisting a federal takeover of health insurance regulations in Ohio:
“President Obama has won re-election, but his health care law is still driving up costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire workers. As was the case before the election, ObamaCare has to go.
“As I told Diane Sawyer of ABC News in an interview following the election, the tactics of our repeal efforts will have to change. But the strategic imperative remains the same. If we’re serious about getting our economy moving again, solving our debt, and restoring prosperity for American families, we need to repeal ObamaCare and enact common-sense, step-by-step reforms that start with lowering the cost of health care.
“The president’s health care law adds a massive, expensive, unworkable government program at a time when our national debt already exceeds the size of our country’s entire economy. We can’t afford it, and we can’t afford to leave it intact. That’s why I’ve been clear that the law has to stay on the table as both parties discuss ways to solve our nation’s massive debt challenge.
“Congress has a constitutional responsibility to conduct thorough oversight of the Executive Branch, and congressional oversight will play a critical role in repealing ObamaCare going forward.
“Over the past couple of years, I have noted there are essentially three major routes to repeal of the president’s law: the courts, the presidential election process, and the congressional oversight process. With two of those three routes having come up short, the third and final one becomes more important than ever.
“Vigorous oversight of the health care law by the House can be expected, and in fact is already underway. The House Ways & Means Committee recently issued a subpoena directing that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) turn over any and all information regarding how taxpayer dollars have been used to promote ObamaCare.
“‘It’s the second subpoena [HHS Secretary Kathleen] Sebelius has faced from congressional Republicans in as many months,’ according to POLITICO, which notes that ‘the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee subpoenaed the agency to turn over documents to determine if funds from a Medicare Advantage demonstration program are being used improperly.’
“One state that has acted clearly and decisively with respect to ObamaCare is our own state of Ohio. Gov. John Kasich announced November 16 that Ohio will not implement one of the government-run ‘exchanges’ mandated under the president’s health care law, and will preserve our state’s ability to regulate health insurance on its own.
“‘Governor John Kasich and Lt. Governor Mary Taylor want every Ohioan to have health care coverage and believe the route to achieving that is a market-based system that encourages both high quality and low costs,’ noted the announcement from the Office of the Governor. ‘A rigid, prescriptive health insurance exchange that reduces choices and drives up costs does not align with the Kasich Administration’s health policy goals.’
“I’m proud of our governor and lieutenant governor for taking this stand and resisting the federal takeover of health care in Ohio. Repeal of the president’s health care law is critically important to the economic future of our country.
“With President Obama and his party still in control of most of Washington, stopping ObamaCare will require both bold state leadership and vigorous oversight by Members of the House of Representatives. Such action will be critical in protecting the American people and our economy from the impact of this disastrous federal law.”
Boehner represents Ohio’s 8th District, which includes all of Darke, Miami, and Preble counties, most of Butler and Mercer counties, and the northeastern corner of Montgomery County. He was first elected to Congress in 1990.