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Posted by Randy | September 20, 2013
According to reports from Politico and National Review, the Obama Administration is preparing for a multimillion-dollar onslaught of television ads designed to promote Obamacare insurance exchanges.  Reports indicate that at least $12 million of advertising airspace has already been reserved in thirteen states. 

This week, in response, I joined with colleagues to send a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, demanding a halt to this use of taxpayer dollars.  I voted against the bill in 2010, and remain committed to defunding the law.

Question of the week: Do you believe television advertising campaigns promoting Obamacare are an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars?
 
( ) Yes.
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know.
( ) Other (leave your comments below).


Take the Poll here.

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | August 07, 2013

Last month, the administration announced that implementation of the employer mandate in the health care law would be delayed until 2015, due to “concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively.”  When I asked you whether the individual mandate should be delayed as well, 76.1% said yes. 

Following administrative delay of a major piece of the law, and a vote in the House to also postpone the individual mandate, debate in Congress has now turned from delaying implementation to defunding the health care law as part of any measure to fund the federal government for the next fiscal year.  

Funding for Fiscal Year 2013 runs out on September 30th.  Before that date, Congress must agree on funding for Fiscal Year 2014, which begins October 1st and runs through September 30th of next year. 

Question of the week:
 Do you believe that trying to defund the health care law is worth risking a government shutdown? 

( ) Yes.
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know.
( ) Other (leave your comments below).


Take the Poll here.
 
Find the results of last week’s instaPoll here.

  
Posted by Randy | August 05, 2013

I wanted to share this press release following a House Ways and Means Committtee hearing, indicating that administration officials refused to confirm that Americans’ health care premiums will decrease, as the President promised. I am pleased to see that Chairman Camp and Members of the Committee are continuing to push for answers on these important questions.

I will continue toward defunding and repealing this burdensome and costly law, and will work with my colleagues to enact meaningful reforms to our health care system that do not come at an unacceptable price to families, seniors, and businesses.  Read more about these efforts here.

 
 

With Only 60 Days to Go, Administration Refuses to Confirm Americans Will See the President’s Promised $2,500 Cut in Health Care Premiums
Thursday, August 01, 2013

 Today, during testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee, a key official from Health and Human Services leading implementation of the President’s health care law, would not confirm that Americans will see their health insurance premiums lowered by $2,500 – despite that is exactly what President Obama promised when selling the law to the American people.  With just 60 days before the health care exchanges are scheduled to open, it is clear the Administration still cannot tell hardworking families what their health insurance will cost.  Unfortunately, this should not surprise hardworking families, given that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has acknowledged that premiums will actually increase as a result of ObamaCare. 

 
 
Posted by Randy | July 17, 2013
On June 2,2013, the administration announced that implementation of the employer mandate in the health care law would be delayed until 2015, due to “concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively.”  

In response, today the House will vote on the Authority for Mandate Delay Act, H.R. 2667, to affirm halting the employer mandate, and the Fairness for American Families Act, H.R. 2668, to postpone implementation of the individual mandate as well.  Under both bills, neither mandate would take effect until 2015.    

Last month, the Government Accountability Office published a report on the status of the federal health exchanges, noting that “certain factors, such as the still-unknown and evolving scope of the exchange activities…suggest a potential for implementation challenges going forward. And while the missed interim deadlines may not affect implementation, additional missed deadlines closer to the start of enrollment could do so.”

Question of the week:  Do you support delaying the individual mandate now that the employer mandate has been delayed for one year? 

( ) Yes.
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know
( ) Other.


Take the Poll here.

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | June 21, 2013

A recent article from CBS News’ MoneyWatch showed that 1 in 5 employers expect health care costs to rise by over 5% as a result of the President’s health care law. The wave of new rules and regulations, which companies are scrambling to prepare for, add yet another burden to small businesses amidst an economic environment where many are struggling just to keep their doors open.

The federal government was not intended to be a barrier to economic growth and I believe we must closely examine federal regulations, particularly those resulting from the health care law, to identify and address those that stall job creation and sustainability.  Read more about my work to reduce burdens on small businesses here.

Posted by Randy | May 17, 2013
Last Friday, Lois Lerner, Director of the Exempt Organizations Division at the IRS, apologized for the Agency requiring certain conservative groups to submit excessive paperwork regarding their 501(c)(4) tax exempt status. 

Her apology was issued just days before the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) was scheduled to release its oversight report of IRS activities.  This report not only confirmed that the IRS was in fact targeting conservative organizations, but that this has been going on since 2010. 

Groups with the word “patriot” in their names, and those with the mission of “educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights” have been subjected to enhanced scrutiny in their applications for tax exempt status.  The TIGTA report indicated that 160 applications were open from 206 to 1,138 days, some more than three years and crossing two election cycles.               

The Department of Justice launched an investigation in conjunction with the FBI, and the House Ways and Means Committee is holding a hearing today to further investigate this matter and bring to light why these groups were targeted. 

While these investigations are pending, and Americans are calling into question the integrity of what should be a non-partisan, non-political government agency, I have introduced the Prevent IRS Overreach Act, H.R.1993, to prohibit the IRS from hiring any personnel for the purpose of implementing the healthcare law.  Read more about this bill here.

Question of the week:  Do you believe the Prevent IRS Overreach Act is a necessary step in ensuring protection for the American people?

(  ) Yes.
(  ) No.
(  ) I don’t know.
(  ) Other (leave your comments below).

Take the instaPoll here.

Find the results of last week’s instaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | May 16, 2013

I wanted to share a recent article from AEIdeas, the American Enterprise Institute blog, further highlighting the destructive nature of the health care law.  The article notes that, according to a recent Gallup poll, 48% of small business owners believe that the law will be bad for their business.

The increased taxes and regulations are bad enough, but when you add in the uncertainty surrounding implementation of the health care law, businesses are not expanding. Even worse, they are closing their doors.  

Access to health care should not come at an unacceptable price to our small business community.  I will continue to support the repeal and defunding of this law, and promote policies that encourage, not stifle, economic growth. 

Posted by Randy | May 15, 2013
Today, I questioned Attorney General Eric Holder before the House Judiciary Committee in regards to the lack of personal accountability of members of this Administration. A pattern has emerged of senior Administration officials "accepting responsibility," but failing to suffer any personal repercussions for actions which have resulted in the murder of Americans and the degradation of our Constitution. 
  • 4 Americans dead in Benghazi  under the watch of Secretary Clinton
  • U.S. Agent Brian Terry and over 150 Mexicans dead because of Fast and Furious under the watch of Attorney General Holder
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released over 2000 criminal illegal aliens, some convicted of aggravated felonies under the watch of Director Morton
  • IRS agents targeted conservative groups and used government positions to act as political operatives working to influence the electoral process under the watch of Commissioner Miller                 

Watch the exchange here

These senior officials have one thing in common – they all have said there’s nothing they could have done to prevent these things from happening. 

Now, the IRS is preparing to implement over 30 tax related provisions of the President's healthcare law.  I have introduced legislation - "The Prevent IRS Overreach Act"- to get the IRS out of healthcare. Read more about the bill and weigh in with your thoughts below.   

Posted by Randy | July 12, 2012
Yesterday, I joined 243 of my colleagues in voting to repeal the President’s 2010 health care law, and demonstrating our resolve to undo what the Supreme Court decided by a 5-4 vote was a massive health care tax on the American people.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the President’s health care law will cost Americans 800,000 jobs, increasing costs for employers and leaving some small businesses with the choice between laying off employees or paying the penalty associated with failure to purchase health insurance.

This administration has watched for 41 straight months with over 8% unemployment and their policies have already delivered us a net loss of more than 473,000 jobs.

The House has now voted over 30 times to repeal all or parts of the health care law, reaffirming opposition to the health care law and underscoring the importance of electing officials who support individual freedoms and a more limited vision of government.
Posted by Randy | March 26, 2012
The health care law hits the Supreme Court today. The Court will hear arguments for three days and a ruling is expected in late June.

As the Supreme Court hears arguments on the law’s constitutionality, I want to share with you the following news articles that provide information on the legal process over the next few weeks and the specific issues surrounding the health care law.

Schedule of Proceedings
Audio recordings will be posted on the Court’s website within two hours of the end of each argument.

Monday, March 26, 10 a.m.- Anti-Injunction Act (90 minutes)
Issue: Does the Anti-Injunction Act prohibit challenges to the individual mandate until the first penalty is collected in 2015?

Tuesday, March 27, 10 a.m.  - Individual mandate (2 hours)
Issue: Can Congress require individuals to maintain a minimum level of health insurance or else pay a penalty? (I joined my colleagues in signing an amicus brief for this case stating my opinion that the individual mandate is not authorized by the Constitution)

Wednesday, March 28, 10 a.m.  - Severability (90 minutes)
Issue: Can the individual mandate be severed from the rest of the law when considering its constitutionality? (I joined my colleagues in signing an amicus brief for this case stating that the unconstitutional individual mandate cannot be severed from the rest of the health care law, and therefore the entire health care law should be ruled invalid.)

Wednesday, March 28, 1 p.m.  - Medicaid (1 hour)
Issue: Can Congress condition federal Medicaid assistance to the states on their adoption of new eligibility and coverage thresholds?

Health Law Heads to Court – Wall Street Journal

More than two dozen people were snaked along the sidewalk outside the Supreme Court by Sunday afternoon to secure seats to Monday's arguments, which will focus on whether the case can even be heard before 2014, when most of the law takes effect. Tuesday's session will take up the central question of whether Congress holds the constitutional power to require Americans to carry health insurance or pay a penalty. This mandate, the government maintains, is the essential innovation of the two-year-old Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and promotes near-universal coverage by including younger and healthier people who might otherwise avoid paying premiums. Wednesday will see two sessions of arguments, including on how much of the overhaul law should remain in effect should the individual mandate be struck down. The final session will be Wednesday afternoon.
Continue reading…

Timeline: Chronology of Obama healthcare law legal battle – Reuters
The heart of the arguments will turn on whether Congress exceeded its powers in requiring that Americans obtain insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty, the centerpiece provision in the law revamping the healthcare market, which accounts for nearly 18 percent of the nation's economy.

Here is a chronology of the key events in the legal battle over the law that seeks to provide health insurance to more than 30 million previously uninsured Americans: Continue reading… 

A Primer on the Issues, Likely Outcomes – WSJ
With the Supreme Court set to hear arguments Monday on the 2010 health-overhaul law, here is a primer on some of the legal issues.

Q: What will the Supreme Court try to determine when it reviews the health law starting Monday?
A: There are multiple issues in the case, but the main one is whether the law's requirement that most people carry insurance or pay a fee, known as the "individual mandate," violates the Constitution.

Q: What happens if the court decides that part is unconstitutional? Will the law disappear?
A: Not necessarily. There are several possible outcomes, including:
• The court removes that requirement from the law but leaves the rest of the overhaul—which includes hundreds of provisions to rework the health system—in place.
• The court removes that requirement and also removes the pieces of the law closely linked to it. Most likely, those would include coming rules that insurance companies stop denying policies to customers who have a pre-existing health condition, and that insurers can no longer charge older customers significantly more than younger ones.
• The court removes the individual mandate and eliminates the entire law.
Continue Reading…