House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Wally Herger (R-CA) today announced that the Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing to explore the constitutional concerns raised by the individual mandate and economic problems caused by the employer mandate which were created in the Democrats’ health care law. The hearing will take place on Thursday, March 29, 2012, in 1100 Longworth House Office Building, beginning at 9:00 A.M.
In view of the limited time available to hear from witnesses, oral testimony at this hearing will be from invited witnesses only. However, any individual or organization not scheduled for an oral appearance may submit a written statement for consideration by the Committee and for inclusion in the printed record of the hearing. A list of witnesses will follow.
The “Affordable Care Act” (P.L. 111-148 and 111-152) imposes two highly coercive federal mandates on both individuals and employers. Beginning in 2014, the federal government will mandate that nearly every American purchase government-approved health insurance or pay a penalty. The United States Supreme Court will soon hear arguments in the days before the hearing about whether such a requirement is constitutional.
Also, beginning in 2014, the federal government will mandate that many employers provide government-prescribed health insurance or pay a fine. Economists and employer groups have expressed concerns that the added costs associated with the employer mandate will impede their ability to hire and retain workers and result in lower wages.
In announcing the hearing, Chairman Herger stated, “The majority of Americans remain opposed to the Democrats’ health care law, and an even larger number of Americans believe the individual mandate is a violation of their constitutional rights. The public remains concerned about the impact the law will have on their lives and with good reason. At its core, the Democrats’ risky experiment relies on a federal mandate, forcing Americans to purchase a product – even if they can’t afford it – or pay a fine. Furthermore, the law’s new mandates and regulations are standing in the way of job creation at a time when unemployment remains high and our economy desperately needs more jobs. Although the courts are actively engaged, this hearing will allow for an open and candid discussion in Congress, where the law was passed, but where it did not receive the debate and dialogue that these issues deserve.”
FOCUS OF THE HEARING:
The hearing will focus on the constitutional questions surrounding the individual mandate and the economic impact of the employer mandate.
DETAILS FOR SUBMISSION OF WRITTEN COMMENTS:
Please Note: Any person(s) and/or organization(s) wishing to submit for the hearing record must follow the appropriate link on the hearing page of the Committee website and complete the informational forms. From the Committee homepage, http://waysandmeans.house.gov, select “Hearings.” Select the hearing for which you would like to submit, and click on the link entitled, “Click here to provide a submission for the record.” Once you have followed the online instructions, submit all requested information. ATTACH your submission as a Word document, in compliance with the formatting requirements listed below, by the close of business on Thursday, April 12, 2012. Finally, please note that due to the change in House mail policy, the U.S. Capitol Police will refuse sealed-package deliveries to all House Office Buildings. For questions, or if you encounter technical problems, please call (202) 225-1721 or (202) 225-3625.
The Committee relies on electronic submissions for printing the official hearing record. As always, submissions will be included in the record according to the discretion of the Committee. The Committee will not alter the content of your submission, but we reserve the right to format it according to our guidelines. Any submission provided to the Committee by a witness, any supplementary materials submitted for the printed record, and any written comments in response to a request for written comments must conform to the guidelines listed below. Any submission or supplementary item not in compliance with these guidelines will not be printed, but will be maintained in the Committee files for review and use by the Committee.
1. All submissions and supplementary materials must be provided in Word format and MUST NOT exceed a total of 10 pages, including attachments. Witnesses and submitters are advised that the Committee relies on electronic submissions for printing the official hearing record.
2. Copies of whole documents submitted as exhibit material will not be accepted for printing. Instead, exhibit material should be referenced and quoted or paraphrased. All exhibit material not meeting these specifications will be maintained in the Committee files for review and use by the Committee.
3. All submissions must include a list of all clients, persons and/or organizations on whose behalf the witness appears. A supplemental sheet must accompany each submission listing the name, company, address, telephone, and fax numbers of each witness.
The Committee seeks to make its facilities accessible to persons with disabilities. If you are in need of special accommodations, please call 202-225-1721 or 202-226-3411 TTD/TTY in advance of the event (four business days notice is requested). Questions with regard to special accommodation needs in general (including availability of Committee materials in alternative formats) may be directed to the Committee as noted above.
Note: All Committee advisories and news releases are available on the World Wide Web athttp://www.waysandmeans.house.gov/.