Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Rep. Allen West's response to health care concerns

A couple weeks ago, I e-mailed my representative, Republican Allen West, with concerns about Obamacare. Today, I received a response:
Thank you for contacting me regarding your opposition to the health care law passed by the United States Congress and signed by the President in 2010. I appreciate hearing from you and having the benefit of your views.

As you may be aware, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in the United States House of Representatives by a vote of 219 to 212 on March 21, 2010, and was signed into law by President Barrack Obama on March 23, 2010. While I was not a member of the United States Congress at that time, I strongly opposed this legislation for a number of reasons.

While there are certain parts of the current law that I support, including the segment on pre-existing conditions, overall I believe that the bill over-reaches the authority of the federal government, and needs to be repealed for a variety of reasons.

First, as we have seen unfold throughout our country – including right here in South Florida, the healthcare law has been detrimental to the survival and growth of small businesses. Employers are choosing to drop healthcare for their employees, which will flood the government-run system, eventually leading to lower-quality healthcare.

Small businesses are beginning to hire part time instead of full time employees in order to avoid the requirement. And perhaps most concerning, since businesses with less than 51 employees are exempt from the new mandate requiring employers to provide healthcare, employers are choosing not to grow their businesses beyond a certain level.

While many may argue that this is a law about health care, it is truly an issue about the long term viability of our economy. America's unemployment rate has been close to 10 percent in 2010, while Florida suffers with over 12 percent unemployed. Many small business owners have expressed their frustration to me that this legislation is badly hurting their businesses, thus contributing to the high unemployment we are all faced with.

Second, I was deeply concerned with a number of requirements that the law implements that have nothing to do with healthcare. For example, I am opposed to the requirement that small businesses must file 1099 forms for all transactions exceeding $600/year. Furthermore, the health care law set in motion the complete government takeover of government-sponsored education loans.

As you may be aware, legislation in the House of Representatives to repeal this law was recently introduced. I am an original cosponsor of the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, H.R. 2, and expect a vote to come to the House within the next few days. My support of this repeal legislation, and my vote to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will fulfill the pledge I made to the people of South Florida.

I greatly appreciate the time and thought that went into your correspondence to me. Again, thank you for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any further questions or concerns in the future.

Very Respectfully,

Allen B. West
Member of Congress


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