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Courier-Tribune: Ellmers' goals: Jobs, better healthcareOctober 24 2013
Ellmers’ goals: Jobs, better healthcare
By Judi Brinegar
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
ASHEBORO – Upon her return to Washington, U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) plans to work toward a better healthcare plan and more jobs for the people she represents.
Ellmers was the guest speaker at the Randolph County Republican Women’s Club Monday night. She serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and chairs the Republican Women’s Policy Committee. She has represented North Carolina’s second congressional district since 2011.
During the evening, Ellmers spoke of the recent government shutdown, saying that Republicans sent legislation to keep the government open but that “(Sen.) Harry Reid (the Senate majority leader) shot it down.”
“People are going to be penalized if they don’t sign up for Obamacare,” Ellmers said, referring to the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA). “That is not fair to the American people, so we ended up in the shutdown. Should the American people be penalized? Made to go to a website that doesn’t work? Who can afford it? Does it allow for conscientious protection for employers? I couldn’t vote for it — it doesn’t have enough in it for me.
“Obama told us, ‘I am not going to negotiate with anyone,’ but I’m all about responsibility and taking care of the American people. The feeling in Washington is that they can keep on spending and just pass it down. At some point we have to say stop — no more.”
Now Ellmers and others in Congress want Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to answer questions about the glitches that have plagued Obamacare’s online registry.
Business owners and individuals were supposed to be able to see how much they would pay for plans from an array of insurers, apply for new tax breaks, enroll in plans and pay their premiums, all online.
“On Oct. 1, we asked if the insurance exchanges would be ready to go and were told ‘yes it would’ by Kathleen Sebelius,” Ellmers said. “We knew that it was a complete and utter failure and have learned over time that the plan was never properly put in place to start with. It was way over budget. They were using old technology and no bids were taken to do it and the information you put on that site is not protected.
“Those are the things we will be trying to get to the bottom of when we get back. What can we do better? We need to learn to stay together and not do a bunch of finger-pointing. We have got to grow jobs and get more people back to work.”
Ellmers reiterated the need for more jobs to grow the economy, but thinks that the ACA is going to hurt rather than help the workforce.
“How many businesses in America are going to get to less than 30-hour employees?” she asked. “We are going to be a part-time workforce because of Obamacare. It is a massive tax and it should frighten you — it is Barack Obama’s signature piece of legislation and he is not going to give up on it.
“Once this goes into effect, it is not going to equal good healthcare. Our goal is to stay unified and come to the table with something we can work with, something that we will not have to compromise our beliefs on. At the same time, we need to have realistic expectations.”
Is there a bright side?
“I would like to see us get a plan of action to grow this economy despite Obama,” she said. “I’d like to see us get a handle on immigration reform and get it behind us. We need tax reform, and to grow the economy and get people back to work, get an alternative to Obamacare – we need to put forth another form of action.”
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