Can House Republicans elected to Congress after the 2010 midterms on a promise to repeal Obamacare follow through?
Rep. Phil Roe, who ran a medical practice for over 30 years in Johnson City, TN, before being elected to the House of Representatives, tells TheBlaze that all hope is not lost for the law's critics.
"It's not so far down the pathway that it can't be turned around," the third-term congressman on the Physicians Caucus and Health Caucus told TheBlaze contributor Mallory Factor in an exclusive interview last week.
Roe predicts that new provisions set to kick-in Jan. 1 will show young people how much their costs will really go up, and businesses not already on board will quickly join the calls to repeal too as they struggle to stay afloat. The Tennessee Republican told TheBlaze that when Obamacare is repealed he hopes Congress will then "replace it with patient-centered reforms that actually do bring the costs down.
"We can do that."
Before there was what Roe calls The "Un-Affordable" Care Act, he agreed with President Obama's call to reform a system where costs were too high. However, while the president promised that his plan would expand coverage, lower the costs, and if you liked your doctor and health plan you could keep it; Roe tells TheBlaze "that just hasn't worked out to be true."
An issue related to Obamacare that Roe has tried to call particular attention to is the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The board started as an idea to come out of the Senate passed health care bill to address medicare costs. The board will consist of 15 unelected bureaucrats appointed by the president and approved by Senate. Roe told TheBlaze that the board could cause Americans to lose primary care doctors. It doesn't keep medicare costs down, "They are just rationing care," Roe told TheBlaze.
"Quality goes down, costs go up."
If the Senate is not able to approve a quorum for the board, the Health and Human Services Secretary will make these decisions on costs alone.
Roe told TheBlaze about people he has come across through the country that are struggling already since the health care reform law was signed. He recently met a man in Concord, North Carolina who runs a small textile manufacturing business with 350 employees who provides 80 percent of health care coverage payments for his employees, and 100 percent for special procedures they or those covered under them may have like a colonoscopy or mammogram. "What does he get out of this gold-plated plan?" from Obamacare Roe asks; an over 60 dollar fee for each life covered under his coverage. Roe says the law will cost that business owner tens of thousands of dollars. Another individual struggling with the law is a woman in his district who works for Bob Evans. As the law is being implement, her employer is reducing her work week hours under 30 to avoid mandatory coverage.
In the full interview below Roe also discusses organizing disaster relief in small communities without FEMA, the coal industry, and the way the Farm Bill played out at the end of last month.