Oklahoma delegation unites against President Obama’s health care law

On Wednesday (July 11), the U.S. House of Representatives gave 244-185 approval to House Resolution 6079, a measure aiming to repeal the Affordable Care Act, popular known as “ObamaCare.” Oklahoma’s congressional delegation was united, with four Republicans and one Democrat backing the repeal effort.

U.S. Rep. John Sullivan, a Tulsa Republican, said in a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK, “The Supreme Court’s recent decision does not change the fact that Obamacare is a deeply flawed law that should be repealed. As I have said from the beginning, Obamacare is disastrous for patients, doctors, small businesses and could not have come at a worse time for our economy.

“According to a survey conducted by the Doctor Patient Medical Association, an alarming 83 percent of American physicians have considered leaving their practices as a result of ObamaCare. The American people have already rejected the policy behind ObamaCare – now the Supreme Court’s ruling has opened their eyes to the deceit used to sell the law and the massive tax increases contained in it.”

Sullivan, who will leave Congress in January, continued, “We need common sense reforms to lower healthcare costs and to get our country back on track – not a wholesale government overhaul of our healthcare system that takes away Americans’ ability to decide what coverage is right for themselves, their families or their businesses. The last thing that struggling Americans need right now are massive tax hikes and mandates that will drive up health costs and make it even more difficult for small businesses to hire and grow.

‘While repealing Obamacare is obviously not the end of the discussion over reforming our healthcare system, this is the first step towards bringing Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle back to the table to develop a plan for our healthcare system that works for all Americans.”

The sole Democrat in the delegation, Dan Boren of Muskogee, will also leave Congress this winter. In response to a request for comment from CapitolBeatOK, Boren said, “Like most Oklahomans, I believe that our nation needs health care reform. However, this health care legislation is too large and too costly, placing a burden on Oklahoma families and crippling our nation’s economic growth.

“In addition, an overwhelming majority of my constituents have urged me to support the repeal of the health care law. I have listened to the views of my constituents and I am in support of the Patients’ Rights Repeal Act in hopes of finding alternative bipartisan solutions.”
The dean of the state delegation, U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas of Cheyenne, reiterated his opposition to the law, saying, “This vote reassures my constituents in the Third District … that we remain committed to real health care reform and we will not stand for the president’s flawed law.”

Lucas pledged to work for mechanisms to “replace Obamacare with commonsense reforms that will lower the cost of health care, and allow patients the right to choose a plan that best fits their needs.”
Tom Cole of Moore, serving from the Fourth District, said Americans in general, and his constituents in particular, “have made clear that they simply do not want a radical overhaul of the health care system.” He called the law “deeply unpopular, unaffordable and unworkable” – a law “that limits individual freedom, raises taxes, drives up health costs and mandates thousands of regulations enforced by unelected bureaucrats.”

He deemed the law “a terrible policy that should never have been passed.”

The newest member of the Oklahoma delegation, U.S. Rep. James Lankford of Oklahoma City, commented, “A healthcare system where patients and doctors are separated by a cumbersome federal middleman is not a sustainable, effective or efficient way for Americans to meet their healthcare needs. The law has resulted in decreased hiring because of the mandate cost. Small businesses will re-evaluate employment statuses to avoid the regulations, and Health and Human Services will violate basic religious liberties as a result of this law.”
Lankford pointed out to analyses projecting a shortage of 90,000 physicians or more as the legislation takes root. He continued, “A bad law is now becoming bad policy, if Congress does not step in and act. Let’s learn from the mistakes of the hasty passage of the President’s healthcare bill in 2010 and move forward with a better option. The President’s seemingly endless list of healthcare ‘give-aways’ released before the election will all come due in early 2013 and 2014 as twenty additional taxes kick in for many Americans, including the middle class. 
“Now that the Supreme Court has confirmed the law as a tax, I hope that Senate Majority Leader Reid and Senate Democrats will reconsider our repeal legislation and give patients throughout the U.S. an opportunity to get the care they deserve without the bureaucracy and added national debt they never asked for.”

 On Tuesday (July 10), Lankford was part of a House Committee on Government Reform hearing on the law’s impact on job creators and the economy. A video of his comments can be viewed here

The U.S. House of Representatives has now voted 32 times to repeal, defund or take apart the Affordable Care Act, often deemed the most significant accomplishment of Barack Obama’s presidency.