Camp Opening Statement: Hearing on the Status of the Affordable Care Act Implementation
(Remarks as Prepared)
Just a few months ago, in testimony before this Committee, Secretary Sebelius repeatedly told Congress and the American people that the Obama Administration “was on track to meet the October 1 deadline” for the new healthcare law. However, over the past two months, the evidence shows just the opposite is true:
With these facts at hand, you will have to forgive me if I am skeptical of the claims that everything is “on track.” It has been over three years since the law was passed, and in just 60 days the Exchanges are due to be up and running, but we still do not have answers to many crucial questions – and worse yet, neither do the American people.1. In June, the Government Accountability Office released two reports which raised serious questions about whether the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would be able to have federally-run Exchanges up and running by October 1, 2013, noting numerous reasons for their concerns.
How is the average, hardworking taxpayer expected to navigate the ObamaCare exchanges in just a few short months when the Administration has provided no information as to what the real cost will be or what their health insurance will look like? To quote one of my Democratic colleagues, “[W]hen is the White House going to actually get up and go?”
As though the concerns and questions about implementation weren’t enough, almost daily we are reminded of the effects the law is having on the economy. Businesses are struggling to figure out how to comply with the law, how it will affect their business, and whether they will have to cut hours, wages or jobs in order to comply.
After the Administration announced the employer mandate delay, one small business owner testified before this Committee that, “As a business owner, I worked on the fourth of July and I worried about it. And I fielded calls from other franchisees asking what this meant on the Fourth of July.” Our job creators – and their employees – deserve better.
The uncertainty is growing all over the country, and the American people need answers to the questions that millions of families and individuals are asking:
And, as if Americans didn’t have reason enough to fear the IRS, we now know that it is in no position to implement the 47 new powers and authority given to it under the health care law. In fact, it is likely Americans will be at even greater risk of having their identity stolen or private taxpayer information leaked as a result of the law.
Even the Treasury’s Inspector General, less than two weeks ago, stated the IRS will struggle to complete all required testing. The Inspector General is not confident about the IRS’s ability to protect confidential taxpayer information or to prevent fraud, and neither am I.
This law is become increasingly unfair, unworkable and untenable for Americans. With just three months left, patients, doctors and hardworking taxpayers still have more questions than answers. I look forward to hearing an honest, straightforward assessment of the status of this law from our witnesses.