Washington, D.C. – Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) today spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives in support of H.R. 4118, the Simple Fairness Act, which he said would offer “a legislative solution to help Americans get out from the crushing weight of the so-called Affordable Care Act.”
Burgess, Vice-Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, said the bill would give hardworking Americans the same relief President Obama has already given to businesses by delaying the burdensome employer mandate twice in just one year.
“Shouldn’t the same relief be provided for the American people?” he asked.
Burgess, who also sits on the House Rules Committee, delivered his statement while managing the rule for consideration of this bill, which later passed the House, as well as for H.R. 3826, the Electricity Security and Affordability Act.
The full text of his statement on H.R. 4118 is below.
“The second bill contained in this rule, H.R. 4118, Suspending the Individual Mandate Penalty Law Equals Fairness Act, addresses the disparity that President Obama and Secretary Sebelius have created between big business, which has been given a reprieve in having to comply with the mandates contained in the Affordable Care Act, and individual Americans, who have been given no such help by this President. Just this week the press has reported the Administration will delay yet another provision of the Affordable Care Act by allowing insurers to continue offering health plans that do not meet the ACA’s minimum coverage requirements.
“It is becoming so commonplace for this Administration to waive or ignore provisions of what it calls its ‘signature law’ that the American people seem not to even take notice anymore. There is little doubt that that is exactly what this President is hoping for.
“In the last eight months, the President has delayed or modified more than 22 provisions of his signature health care law. The President has been quick to fix parts of the law that have political consequences for allies and protect his own talking points. Yet where is the President’s protection for the American people?
“Under the health care law, Americans who don’t have health insurance and refuse to purchase a government-approved insurance policy will face an annual fine that increases every year. However, purchasing a government-approved plan also means paying unaffordable premiums, being forced to navigate a dysfunctional website, losing the doctor you like and placing your personal information in jeopardy on an unsecure website.
“Today, Republicans are offering a legislative solution to help Americans get out from the crushing weight of the so-called Affordable Care Act.
“H.R. 4118, also known as the Simple Fairness Act, will give hardworking American the same relief the President has already given to business.
“The Administration had no problem delaying the employer mandate not just once for 2014, but a second time, for another full year for employers with 51-100 employees. Shouldn’t the same relief be provided for the American people?
The President has refused to work with Congress to change the law so today we are moving ahead and doing what’s right for the American people. The Simple Fairness Act will eliminate the penalty in 2014 for those individuals who chose not to purchase a government-approved health care plan.
“It is clear that H.R. 4118 offers the only feasible lifeline to millions of Americans who are faced with purchasing an expensive health care plan that does not meet their needs.
“It is Congress’ job to protect the American people, and I urge my colleagues to pass this rule so Washington can stop making decisions about Americans health care and instead individuals can be free to decide for themselves.”