U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, vowed Tuesday to continue efforts to fight the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. (Doris Maricle / American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 10:52 AM
JENNINGS — U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, vowed Tuesday to continue efforts to fight the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
“I will not relent in my opposition to the law and look forward to continue fighting and getting results at stopping Obamacare,” Boustany said at a town hall meeting.
Obamacare is the “poster child for bad policy” and most Americans oppose it, Boustany said.
“Obamacare is a disaster in the way it was created,” he said. “It’s a disaster from a policy standpoint in what it is going to do to the U.S. economy, to businesses and families, and it’s a disaster in its application. They cannot even implement it because it is so complicated.”
He said Americans need a health care plan that improves quality, lowers costs and expands coverage, while strengthening the doctor-patient relationship. Obamacare will not do that, he said.
Instead the plan will increase health premiums for families, jeopardise patient access to health care and explode the budget, he said.
Boustany has voted 40 times to repeal Obamacare, including one measure he boasts as the “first major defeat to Obamacare.”
“I’ve had tremendous success in knocking out a $100 billion program in Obamacare,” he said. “I got it repealed. It took me 21⁄2 to three years, but I got it done.”
Boustany recently sponsored a bill to repeal the employer mandate — a key provision of the health care law that officials have been working on for three years. Implementation of the mandate has been delayed for a year.
“I am working on a bill to repeal it because businesses will be faced with a $2,000 penalty per employee per year for not giving Obamacare benefits, or they have to provide a souped-up version of insurance that is going to be more expensive,” he said.
“They’re going to take the fixed cost and take the penalty and not provide insurance. They’re going to dump all their employees into these exchanges, which don’t even exist yet. Those exchanges are supposed to be ready Oct. 1, and they are not ready.”
Boustany said he needs the Senate and president’s support to fully repeal the measures and replace them with something that works.
Boustany also voiced concerns for unresolved efforts to get a new farm bill passed.
“The House passed a farm bill, and the Senate passed a farm bill,” he said. “The agriculture parts to that are roughly the same with some minor differences, which I think are very easy to sort out. But on the House side we did not pass food stamps.
“We initially tried to pass a bill with $20 billion over a 10-year period with reforms to the food stamps program, but the Senate only passed $5 billion in reforms. Our bill didn’t pass, so we took the food stamps part out and just passed the agriculture part.”
The current farm bill is set to expire Sept. 30. If the bill is allowed to expire, the country will revert back to a 1949 agriculture law that has no basis in reality today, Boustany said.
“So our farmers are harvesting rice now, and when they finish all that up and start going to the banks for loans for next year’s planting, there’s going to be a lot of uncertainty for both the farmers and the bankers,” he said.
Boustany said he has heard from bankers who said they need to know what kind of rules they are operating under.
Boustany said he will also continue efforts to support tax reform and an investigation into what he calls “gross negligence mismanagement” by the IRS, including unfair audits of targeted taxpayers.