Big questions for Obama’s speech tonight
5 Questions the President Should Answer About His Health Care Law
Despite spending more than $2 trillion on his health care overhaul, President Obama has failed to deliver on his promise to reduce the cost of health care. So, while the President may give ObamaCare a glowing review in his State of the Union address, the American people who have to pay for and live with ObamaCare have a few questions that deserve some answers:
Mr. President, why are my health insurance premiums going up?
- According to a report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, once the ObamaCare Exchanges and Medicaid expansion take effect in 2014, private health insurance premium growth will increase 108 percent faster than what would have occurred prior to ObamaCare. Also in 2014, national health spending is projected to rise 39.6 percent faster than what would have occurred without ObamaCare.
- The New York Times recently reported health insurance premium hikes up to double digits in some states.
Mr. President, why am I losing the health insurance I have and like?
- The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently reported it expects that 7 million Americans will lose their employer-based health coverage because of ObamaCare. Private, independent analysis have predicted as many as 65 million Americans could lose their employer-provided insurance.
Mr. President, why have many employers stopped hiring new workers and/or shifted full-time workers to part-time status?
- According to CBO, the number of workers in the labor force will be slashed by 800,000 by 2021 because of ObamaCare.
- According to a study by the Hudson Institute, ObamaCare’s employer mandate would put up to 2.3 million jobs at risk.
- As USA Today and The Wall Street Journal reported, many businesses plan to bring on more part-time workers next year, trim the hours of full-time employees or curtail hiring because of the new health care law.
- Seventy percent of small businesses cite the health care law as a major obstacle to job creation.
Mr. President, am I going to pay higher taxes as a result of ObamaCare?
- Estimates from the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) confirm that the Democrats’ health law is a one trillion dollar tax hike on families and employers.
- The law contains 21 tax hikes, and more than half of those fall on the backs of Americans earning less than $200,000 per year for singles and $250,000 per year for married couples – a clear violation of the President’s pledge to avoid tax hikes on low- and middle-income taxpayers.
Mr. President, why is this law so difficult to understand and comply with?
- The burden of ObamaCare is already being felt, even though many provisions of the law, including the requirement for most Americans to buy government-approved health insurance or pay a tax, are not set to take effect until 2014. According to the Obama Administration’s own estimates, ObamaCare will require American job creators, families, and health care providers to spend over 127 million hours per year on compliance.
Four Big Questions About Tonight’s State of the Union
With that in mind, here are four questions ahead of tonight’s speech:
1) JOBS. Will the president use the State of the Union as an opportunity to lay out a serious plan to turn the economy around and take the brakes off job growth?
- In a recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report full of numbers about the economy, one stood out for every American: 8%. That’s what analysts expect the unemployment rate to hover around for the rest of the year. It’s also what the highest level of unemployment was supposed to be under the president’s ‘stimulus.’
- Today, the economy remains a source of anxiety for many Americans, and the president continues to push for more of the same policies, including higher taxes and more government ‘investments.’
- The American people deserve better, and tonight’s speech is a prime opportunity for the president to offer bette
2) BUDGET. Will the president use the State of the Union to lay out a serious plan to reduce long-term spending and debt?
- Washington’s spending problem begins in the Oval Office: the president has been late in submitting four out of his five budgets – including this year’s – and instead of cutting the deficit in half as promised, he’s overseen four straight years of trillion-dollar deficits.
- Last week’s CBO report also detailed the sheer size and scope of our spending problem. “The underlying problem, of course, is entitlement spending,” one observer wrote in response to report. The report verified what former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles said in December: “spending is the biggest part of this problem.”
- A useful bellwether for the president’s answer to this question tonight: Republicans are committed to common-sense cuts and reforms that will put our budget on a path to balance in 10 years.
3) PRESIDENT’S SEQUESTER. Will the president use the State of the Union as an opportunity to lay out a plan for smart spending cuts to replace his sequester?
- As Bob Woodward has explained, the White House proposed the sequester and insisted it be included in the 2011 debt limit agreement. (See page 326 of Woodward’s book to read about exactly how it happened.)
- Tonight, just days after the White House detailed the devastating consequences of the president’s sequester, he has a chance to show the American people what he is willing to do to prevent any of this from happening.
- A useful guidepost for how the president might answer this question in a credible manner: Republicans have twice passed legislation to replace his sequester with common-sense cuts and reforms.
4) OBAMACARE. Will the president use the State of the Union as an opportunity to prepare the American people for the looming consequences of ObamaCare?
- In what’s already a tough economy, families and small businesses continue to confront the consequences of ObamaCare: higher costs, higher premiums, millions losing their plans, more tax hikes, and fewer jobs.
- Tonight the president has a chance to level with the American people about the consequences of his government takeover of health care, especially in terms of how it will make it harder to make ends meet.
To help determine whether we get answers to these questions, log on tonight to GOP.gov/SOTU for our interactive response starting at 9:00 pm ET. Once there, you’ll be able to watch and get the facts on the State of the Union in real-time, right alongside Republican lawmakers and staff. Then stay tuned for the Republican Address to the Nation by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), immediately following the president’s remarks.
See also . . .
Speaker Boehner to Host Honored Guests in House Gallery for SOTU Address
WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today highlighted some of the guests who will sit in the House Gallery as guests of the Speaker for tonight’s State of the Union Address by President Obama.
“It is my privilege to host these Americans as my guests in the House chamber for this year’s State of the Union Address,” Speaker Boehner said. “These Americans come from all walks of life, but all have stories and experiences that speak to the greatness of our country and offer hope for our nation’s future.”
Speaker Boehner’s guests tonight will include:
- Mr. Ted Kremer, former batboy, Cincinnati Reds. Ted, 30, born with Down Syndrome, has been “the toast of the town” in the Speaker’s hometown of Cincinnati since last September, when a remarkable work of journalism by Cincinnati Enquirer sports writer John Erardi and video journalist Jeff Swinger brought Ted’s inspiring story to light. Ted will be joined by his parents, David and Cheryl; his brother and sister-in-law, David and Erin Kremer; as well as Mr. Erardi and Mr. Swinger.
- Ms. Jeanette Hernandez Prenger, CEO, ECCO Select, Kansas City, MO. Jeanette, the chief executive officer of a Kansas City-based data management firm, received the Enterprising Women of the Year award for 2013 from Enterprising Women magazine. The award honors successful women business owners who mentor or actively support other women and girls involved in entrepreneurship and stand out as leaders in their communities.
- Miss Laci Joseph, Student, Washington, D.C. Laci, a fourth grade student at St. Anthony Catholic School in Northeast Washington, D.C., is an Opportunity Scholar in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program. Laci’s favorite subject is spelling, and she is active in the school choir. When she grows up, she would like to be a teacher or hair stylist. She will be accompanied by her father, Mr. Henry Joseph, III.
- Mr. Zuri Franklin, Student, Washington, D.C. Zuri, a fourth grade student at St. Anthony’s Catholic School in Northeast Washington, D.C., is an Opportunity Scholar in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program. Zuri’s favorite part of school is attending Mass and working on fractions in Math class. He loves basketball and plans to be a policeman after he graduates college. He will be accompanied by his father, Mr. Robert Franklin.
- Mr. Arthur Mola, Principal, Sacred Heart School, Washington, D.C. Arthur Mola is the Principal at Sacred Heart School in Northwest, DC. Sacred Heart is the only bilingual elementary school in the Archdiocese of Washington. Mr. Mola holds a Masters degree in Education and teaching credentials in Social Sciences and English as a Second Language.
- Mr. Jason Barlow, President, UAW Local 402, Springfield, OH. Jason is employed by the Navistar truck company, which employs thousands of American workers in Ohio and Illinois, including many in Speaker Boehner’s congressional district. Jason will be joined by his wife Rachele.
- Ms. Gail McGovern, President & CEO, American Red Cross. Ms. McGovern has served as president and CEO of the American Red Cross since 2008, and has overseen the organization’s response to many high-profile disasters, including Hurricane Sandy. Under her direction, the Red Cross eliminated its operating deficit in 2009 and is paying down its debt.
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