Entitlement Reform

Club for Growth Supports 2015 Repeal Obamacare Bill

Rachael Slobodien - July 18th, 2017

“This should be a slam dunk; the Senate already passed this legislation once.”

Washington, DC –Club for Growth President David McIntosh offered the following statement after Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced his plans with regard to the Senate’s 2015 Obamacare repeal bill:

“Club for Growth applauds Leader McConnell’s promise to bring the 2015 Obamacare repeal bill before the Senate,” Club for Growth President David McIntosh.  “While the stories have already been written placing a nail in the coffin of repealing Obamacare, Club for Growth is not willing to retreat.  Here’s to hoping that the third time’s the charm.

“While short of perfection—the 2015 legislation leaves several Obamacare regulations in place—it is the best option Republicans currently have to begin to repeal Obamacare.  And this should be a slam dunk.  After all, Senate Republicans already passed this legislation once.

What’s changed between now and then is that in 2015 Republicans could hide behind President Obama’s veto.  Well, Obama is no longer president and Senate Republicans got exactly what they wished for: a Republican in the White House who will sign repeal legislation brought to his desk.  With the Obama impediment gone, moderate Republicans—most of whom supported the 2015 legislation—will now be forced to reveal their true colors.

“It was easy for moderate Republicans to grandstand and regurgitate fiery political rhetoric when they knew repeal efforts would go nowhere, but now they will have to do something politicians don’t often do.  And that is keep their promises.

Because it is vital for the overall goal of eventually repealing ALL of Obamacare, the Club for Growth is going to key vote in favor of the 2015 repeal bill.  The vote will be included in the Club for Growth’s 2017 congressional scorecard.

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Club for Growth: Obamacare Repeal Should Include the Lee-Cruz Consumer Freedom Option and Nix the NIIT

Rachael Slobodien - July 05th, 2017

“Congress should not stand in the way of allowing Americans who want to opt out of Obamacare to do so.”

 

Washington, DC – Today, Club for Growth President David McIntosh issued the following statement in response to ongoing discussions about how to improve the Senate GOP’s Obamacare repeal efforts:

“The fate of Obamacare repeal currently lies in the hands of the U.S. Senate—many members of which won their seats based on campaign promises to repeal and replace Obamacare,” said Club for Growth President David McIntosh.

“After almost a decade of promising to repeal Obamacare, it’s time for Republican senators to put their money where their mouths are and get it done.

“At a bare minimum, Congress should not stand in the way of allowing Americans who want to opt out of Obamacare to do so.  And that’s why it’s so important that the new Senate Obamacare repeal bill include the Lee-Cruz Consumer Freedom Option, which would allow individuals to opt out of Obamacare’s costly regulations.

“While including the Lee-Cruz amendment would be a significant step in the right direction, a step in the wrong direction—more like a trip—would be for the GOP to keep the 3.8 percent Net Investment Income Investment Tax (NIIT) on capital gains and dividends.  This tax, just like any tax increase, is an anathema to conservatives as it suppresses economic growth and opportunity throughout our nation.  Under no circumstances should the NIIT be included in any forthcoming Republican ‘repeal’ bill.

“If Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is unable to salvage the ‘Better Care Reconciliation’ bill, then the next best option would be to pass a real repeal bill as a standalone.  That is, a bill that would repeal all of the taxes and all of the regulations in Obamacare.

“The American people are tired of a Congress that overpromises and underdelivers.  That wouldn’t cut it in any other workplace and it shouldn’t fly in Congress either.  With thirteen legislative days left between now and Labor Day, the American people’s message to Congress couldn’t be clearer: they’ve got to get the job done.”

 

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Club for Growth: Senate Bill Is Not Obamacare Repeal

Rachael Slobodien - June 27th, 2017

“Only in Washington does repeal mean restore.  Because that’s exactly what the Senate GOP healthcare bill does: it restores Obamacare.”

Washington, DC – Today, Club for Growth President David McIntosh issued the following statement in response to the Senate GOP’s “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.”  In his statement, McIntosh also outlines ways in which the Senate should improve its current legislation:

“For seven long years, Americans have waited for health care reform that would repeal the disaster that is Obamacare,” stated Club for Growth President David McIntosh.  “The Club for Growth and the American people took Republicans in Congress at their word when they promised to repeal every word – ‘root and branch’ – of Obamacare and replace it with a patient-centered approach to health care.”

“Only in Washington does repeal translate to restore.  Because that’s exactly what the Senate GOP healthcare bill does: it restores Obamacare.  And while it’s hard to imagine, in some ways the Senate’s legislation would make our nation’s failing healthcare system worse.

“At the time of the House bill’s passage, Club for Growth was adamant that the Senate bill needed to be an improvement over the House bill.

“Sadly, what the Senate has produced is Obamacare-light.   It fails to repeal Obamacare, and the legislation fails to help hard-working American families have affordable health insurance.

“There are numerous flaws in the current Senate version:

  • For starters, the Senate bill is a $292 billion tax increase from the House bill.
  • The Senate bill claims to save taxpayers billions in spending with Medicaid reforms.  In actuality, they punt the difficult task of cutting spending to a future Congress—almost assuring that it will never happen.  This will bankrupt future generations due to Senate Republicans’ lack of political courage.
  • Americans will continue to pay higher health insurance premiums.   The Senate bill leaves untouched Obamacare’s most onerous regulations, which have forced millions of Americans and small businesses to drop their health insurance because of higher premiums and deductibles.
  • The Senate bill creates Republican mandates and penalties for Americans who can’t afford the Obamacare-light health insurance.

“From the beginning of this debate, Club for Growth was crystal clear about what constituted a real repeal of Obamacare.  Repeal all the tax increases, repeal the mandates, and repeal the regulations that make health insurance unaffordable. The Senate GOP’s healthcare bill falls woefully short on all three.

“Given the inadequacies in the current version of the Senate bill, the Club for Growth urges Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to take the time necessary to get it right.  The Senate bill can be cured, and the Club for Growth will not oppose the bill’s passage if a few important changes are made. 

  • First, the Senate should adopt language that will allow an insurer that sells a fully compliant plan the ability to also sell any plan that a consumer would like to purchase.  Alternatively, the legislation should allow the states to opt-out of all Title I regulations.
  • Second, in order to equalize the tax treatment with employer-sponsored plans, individuals should be allowed to pay for insurance premiums with their Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).
  • Third, all of the Obamacare taxes must be repealed.

“Absent these reasonable changes to drive down the cost of premiums and provide consumers with more choices and more freedom, the Club for Growth will oppose the ‘Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.’”

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Memo: REPUBLICANS SHOULD GO ON OFFENSE TO REPEAL OBAMACARE

David McIntosh - June 20th, 2017

To:                          Interested Parties

From:                    David McIntosh, President. Club for Growth

Date:                     June 19, 2017


 

OVERVIEW

Recent polling demonstrates that Republicans can turn the healthcare debate around and win by going on offense.

The numbers show two things:

    1. General election voters will vote against incumbent Senate Democrats who continue to support Obamacare; and

    2. If Republicans fail to repeal Obamacare, Republican and independent voters will not support Republicans.

No wonder why Chuck Schumer has gone all out to stop Obamacare repeal and make it look like a Republican failure.  Sadly, so far Senate Republicans have played into his hand by being on defense.  It’s clearly a losing strategy to call attention to how much of Obamacare Republicans plan to keep in place— like most of the taxes, increased spending, and costly regulations to name only a few.  Instead, Republicans should be reminding voters why they rejected the seriously flawed Obamacare legislation in the first place.

Republicans can turn the debate around and once again make repealing Obamacare a winning issue for them.  The key is focusing on how harmful Obamacare is for Americans and how Republican free-market principles will improve health insurance across the board.  Here is how to do it:

  • REMIND VOTERS JUST HOW BAD OBAMACARE IS:  Instead of debating pre-existing conditions – the House bill still requires that they be covered – talk about the mandates Obamacare imposes.  Remind Americans of the broken promises, starting with “If you like your plan, you can keep it.”

The debate must be about making health insurance affordable for millions of American families.  Under Obamacare, young people cannot afford health insurance.  They are required to either pay exorbitant amounts for coverage or if they forgo coverage, they are punished by having to pay higher taxes.  Obamacare mandates also are forcing many small businesses to cut back on the number of employees they can hire.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • POLLING SHOWS VOTERS STILL HATE OBAMACARE: In two recent Club for Growth surveys, nearly 60 percent of all general election voters in both West Virginia and Montana said they are “less likely” or “much less likely” to vote for incumbent Democratic Senators who support Obamacare.  Among solely independent voters in Montana and West Virginia, the percentage of independent voters who said they are “less likely” or “much less likely” to vote for incumbent Democratic Senators who support Obamacare remains close to 60 percent.

For example, the question asked Montana voters whether the following information would affect their vote:

Jon Tester supported Obama’s healthcare bill with its higher taxes, mandatory funding for abortions, and higher insurance premiums, costing Montana taxpayers millions of dollars on a failed government program that has increased insurance premiums in Montana by forty-four percent.

These results show that Republicans can win the Obamacare repeal debate when they remind voters of its many flaws.

  • DEMOCRATS LOSE GROUND WHEN THEY ARE FORCED TO DEFEND OBAMACARE:  The surveys also show that Democrats pay a price at the polls for blocking Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare with a system that will make health insurance more affordable.  Over 50 percent of all general election voters in both West Virginia and Montana – Democrats, Republicans, and independents – say they are “much less likely” or “less likely” to vote for the incumbent Democratic Senator if he or she opposes the effort to repeal Obamacare.  Among independent voters, roughly 45 percent in West Virginia and 50 percent in Montana say they are “much less likely” or “less likely” to vote for the incumbent Democratic Senator if he or she opposes the effort to repeal Obamacare.

For example, the question asked Montana voters whether the following information would affect their vote:

Jon Tester continues to defend Obamacare even though he admitted there were “plenty of mistakes with the Affordable Care Act,” and 4.7 million Americans have had their private insurance cancelled by Obamacare.

  • VOTERS REJECT REPUBLICANS FAILURE TO ACT:   Other surveys show that Republican Senators and Representatives who are up for reelection in 2018 will also pay a price – thus endangering their majority in both chambers – if they do not repeal Obamacare.  Ten percent of likely Republican voters say they will not reelect Republicans if they don’t fully repeal Obamacare.

THE POLITICAL CONSEQUENCES

What’s crystal clear is that with majorities in both houses of Congress as well as a Republican in the White House, Republicans will have no excuses if they fail to repeal Obamacare.  Even more sobering for Republicans should be the data that shows a whopping 50 percent of independent voters will not vote for Republicans if Obamacare remains the law of the land.

Now we know why Chuck Schumer and the Democrats are fighting so hard to block repeal.  They will continue to pound the table and seek to put Republicans on defense about issues that have already been taken care of (Read the House bill, it retains the Obamacare protection for pre-existing conditions).

The last thing that the liberals want is to be forced to defend the failure that is Obamacare.  Republicans will win if they can successfully shift the debate.  Republicans need to be on offense and demonstrate how repealing Obamacare and its mandates will make health insurance more affordable for all Americans.  Democrats are betting on Republicans in the Senate losing their resolve, and walking away from the repeal effort.  If Republicans don’t change course and go on offense, it’s increasingly likely that Democrats will win in 2018.

REPUBLICANS MUST GET ON OFFENSE TO REPEAL OBAMACARE 

But it’s not too late.  Congressional Republicans still can—and should—control their own destiny.

  • Make the bill all about helping the millions of Americans who lost their health insurance and are having to pay ever-skyrocketing deductibles and premiums if they want to keep their health insurance.
  • Talk about how the bill repeals the mandates and tax increases that have crushed small businesses and eliminates the exemption for Congress from Obamacare.
  • Stay away from wonk-ish debates about CBO numbers and imaginary losses of healthcare – we all know Americans will continue to receive excellent healthcare.
  • Show how the Republican bill will bring down health insurance premiums – if you can’t show this, have you really repealed Obamacare?
  • Most of all show that Republicans are working for the American people and will keep their promises after they have been elected.

 

Coalition Letter Urging Senate to Repeal Obamacare Taxes

Rachael Slobodien - June 13th, 2017

45 Conservative Groups and Activists: The Senate Should Repeal All Obamacare Taxes

 

June 13, 2017

The Honorable Orrin G. Hatch
Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance
219 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Hatch:

As the Senate continues to make progress on legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare, we urge you and your colleagues to include repeal of the nearly 20 taxes imposed by the law.

During a February 1 speech at the Chamber of Commerce, you declared, “All of the ObamaCare taxes need to go as part of the repeal process.”

We agree.

Recent media reports suggest that the Senate may be wavering on repeal of these taxes. This would be a mistake. The final Senate repeal package should retain the broad tax relief that was included in the House passed American Health Care Act.

The roughly one trillion dollars in new or higher taxes imposed by Obamacare directly hit middle class families and small businesses, raise the cost of healthcare, and reduce access to care.

Obamacare taxes directly suppress economic growth. The best example of this is the 3.8 percent so-called Net Investment Income Investment Tax (NIIT) on capital gains and dividends. Historically, capital gains taxes have a significant negative impact on capital formation, productivity, and economic growth while raising little or even negative revenue.

Repealing the 3.8 percent NIIT would return the capital gains tax rate to 20 percent, the rate agreed to by President Clinton and a Republican Congress in 1997.

A related tax hike is the 0.9 percent Medicare surtax on wages and self-employment income, the repeal of which was unfortunately delayed six years by an amendment in the House.  It should be repealed as expeditiously as possible.

Other Obamacare taxes directly impact the ability of Americans to meet healthcare costs, such as the income tax hike on families with high medical bills. Around 10 million families pay $200 to $400 in higher income taxes each year because Obamacare increases the threshold at which families can deduct medical expenses paid out of pocket.

Obamacare also makes it harder for individuals to save for their own healthcare choices. Roughly 20 million Americans use tax-advantaged Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) to save for healthcare costs. Another 30 million use Flexible Spending Accounts. There are multiple taxes that restrict the ability of families to use these savings accounts, which limits the choice of consumers.

Other taxes hit certain healthcare industries, such as insurance providers, medical device and prescription drug manufacturers. Inevitably, these taxes are passed onto American families in the form of increased costs.

Finally, the tax associated with the employer mandate has limited millions of Americans to part-time work and the tax penalty associated with the individual mandate hit eight million Americans in 2014, with a family of four facing an income tax hike exceeding $2,000.

True repeal of Obamacare means repealing the Obamacare taxes and the Senate should resist the urge to deprive taxpayers of relief in order to pay for higher spending.

We commend you on your stance to repeal these Obamacare taxes and urge any final package accelerate or at least maintain the House-passed tax reductions. (more…)