Isakson, Chambliss Join 44 Senate Republicans in Sending Letter to White House
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson R-Ga., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., along with all 44 of their Republican colleagues, sent a letter to President Obama urging him to permanently delay the implementation of ObamaCare for all Americans. Last week, the Obama Administration announced that after hearing concerns from the business community, it will delay implementation of a key ObamaCare component, the employer mandate, until 2015.
Isakson and Chambliss have voted several times to repeal Obamacare or provisions in the law.
Isakson is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over Obamacare because the Supreme Court upheld the law last year by designating it as a tax. Isakson also serves on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which oversees health care and the Department of Health and Human Services.
In their letter, the senators wrote, “[W]hile your action finally acknowledges some of the many burdens this law will place on job creators, we believe the rest of this law should be permanently delayed for everyone in order to avoid significant economic harm to American families.”
Isakson and Chambliss were joined by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Jeffrey Chiesa (R-N.J.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), David Vitter (R-La.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).
Below is the text of the senators’ letter.
July 10, 2013
The Honorable Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama:
We write to express concern that in your recent decision to delay implementation of the employer mandate, you have unilaterally acted and failed to work with Congress on such a significant decision. Further, while your action finally acknowledges some of the many burdens this law will place on job creators, we believe the rest of this law should be permanently delayed for everyone in order to avoid significant economic harm to American families.
In response to questions about the administration’s decision, your senior advisor Valerie Jarrett said, “We are listening,” while referring to the concerns of the business community over the onerous employer mandate that will result in fewer jobs and employees working fewer hours. We have been listening as well, and as more employers have attempted to understand your burdensome requirements in the Affordable Care Act, the louder their outrage has become.
We are also listening to the views of the American people. A recent Gallup poll from June of 2013 showed that a majority of Americans disapprove of the Affordable Care Act. The same survey revealed that for every one person who believes they will be better off under the Affordable Care Act, two believe they will be worse off. Opposition to your health law is growing, and it will continue to grow as more Americans realize that the law is built upon broken promises and will result in higher health care costs and more taxes.
Under the individual mandate, the IRS, which is still under multiple investigations for unfairly targeting conservative groups, will play a central role in the implementation of the health care law in our country. Last fall, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that nearly six million Americans, primarily in the middle class, will have to pay a tax under the individual mandate, which was two million more than previously estimated. When the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented, the average individual mandate tax will be nearly $1,200, which clearly contradicts your previous statement that the individual mandate “is absolutely not a tax increase.”
Further, families are facing significant increases in premiums. Last week, the Wall Street Journal published an analysis of premiums and concluded that under your law some Americans will see their premiums “double or even triple,” which is the opposite of your promise that premiums will go down by $2,500 for American families.
Given the widely-held belief by the American people that the Affordable Care Act will not fulfill its promises and will result in higher costs for American families, we implore you to listen to the American people. This law is unworkable and harmful to the economy and to American families, and your actions to delay the employer mandate are an acknowledgement of this fact. While your recent action provides temporary relief for some, we believe that all Americans deserve permanent relief from this onerous law, so that we can adopt common-sense reforms that will actually lower costs and that Americans support.