Campaign Updates

Alabama congressman just became center of ObamaCare repeal efforts, here’s how

Posted on January 29th, 2015

Source – Yellowhammer

By Elizabeth Beshears

WASHINGTON — Alabama Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL1) introduced a bill yesterday that, if passed, would completely repeal ObamaCare, the President’s healthcare law that the non-partisan Congressional Budge Office estimates will cost taxpayers at least $1.5 trillion over the next decade.

Byrne’s bill “to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010,” would allow Congress to pursue health reform with a clean slate.

But the fact that Byrne is sponsoring an ObamaCare repeal bill is not particularly noteworthy in and of itself. Countless Republican lawmakers have carried and voted for anti-ObamaCare legislation in recent years.

What is notable about Byrne’s bill is that it was just confirmed by Congressman Byrne that it has become the centerpiece of House leadership’s ObamaCare repeal and replace strategy, and will be voted on by the full House next week.

“I am very pleased the House will vote next week on a bill to repeal ObamaCare, and I am especially pleased it is my legislation,” Rep. Byrne said in a release Thursday afternoon. “This vote is notable because it will be the first time since Republicans have taken control of the Senate that the House will act on a bill to repeal ObamaCare. Senator Harry Reid can no longer stand in the way of allowing a vote on repealing this law once and for all.”

Earlier this week, Fox News reported that next week’s vote “comes as Republicans have debated how to address the controversial health care bill. GOP lawmakers are facing rising pressure from conservative groups and activists to go big in their efforts to dismantle the law, but the party is stuck in an internal debate over how far they can go, and whether undoing it piecemeal is a preferable course of action.”

Byrne’s full-repeal bill puts that debate to rest for now, as House leaders plan to get behind it with their full support.

“The facts are clear,” Byrne said in a release Wednesday afternoon, “ObamaCare is driving up costs and placing a real burden on the American people. Everywhere I go in Southwest Alabama, I hear a different story about how this law is making life harder for families, doctors and small businesses.”

While some in the GOP have advocated for piecemeal fixes in the past, Byrne stressed that starting with a blank slate is the only way to make meaningful reform.

“ObamaCare is beyond repair. No quick legislative fix will make all the problems go away. We must repeal ObamaCare in its entirety. I encourage my colleagues to join me in this effort to repeal ObamaCare.”

“In addition to repealing the law which is making life harder for so many Americans,” Rep. Byrne said, “the bill instructs the relevant Committees in the House to come forward with an alternative, patient-centered solution to help fix our health care system.”

The vote on Rep. Byrnes’ bill will be the the first vote on a full repeal of ObamaCare since the GOP gained control of the Senate, and could be a measure for how serious the new Congress is about setting the country on a new, more conservative track.