Congresswoman Renee Ellmers: Important Obamacare News

I hope you enjoyed a safe and happy Independence Day celebrating the 237th birthday of our great nation. 

Over the past week, there were important developments regarding Obamacare that are likely to affect you and your family.

On Tuesday, the president announced a delay of the Obamacare mandate requiring employers with more than 50 employees to provide health coverage or be fined. With this action, the president finally admitted what all the evidence has shown — that Obamacare is already a huge failure.

For the past few years, one of my biggest concerns with Obamacare has been its effect on business owners and jobs. I’ve talked to dozens of business owners in my district concerned that the cost of the law’s penalties will make it difficult, if not impossible, for them to grow and prosper. We already know that employers are not hiring due to coming Obamacare fees and penalties. This postponement is not likely to change that fact.

Hard-working Americans and job creators deserve more than a temporary delay. Below you will find the statement I released last week regarding the administration’s announcement.

There is also news to report about H.R. 1416 — my bill to protect cancer patients and others on Medicare from sequester budget cuts that could delay them from receiving life-saving treatment. Last week, in a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, the President and CEO of the National Patient Advocate Foundation testified that my bill would take “a significant step forward” in resolving the problem sequester cuts are causing cancer clinics.

Friday’s hearing was an important step in moving my legislation closer to a vote on the House floor. Below you will find more information about this bill and what you can do to help it advance.

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Another Huge Obamacare Failure

The following is the statement I released last week following the president’s announcement regarding the Obamacare delay:

“Last night, the Obama administration conceded failure with a last minute decision to delay Obamacare. They postponed the requirement that companies with 50 or more workers either provide health insurance or pay fines of at least $2,000 per worker – which has already caused countless Americans to lose their jobs. Yet the average American will still suffer fines for failing to obtain individual insurance. By making this decision, President Obama and his administration have admitted failure for the law they forced upon the American people.”

“Until now, the Obama administration has turned a deaf ear to countless witnesses, doctors, patients, and employers who have detailed the law’s negative impact on their families and their well-being. But with this delay, the administration has confessed that the danger is real. The jig is up.”

“I will not rest until the entire law is dismantled and truly affordable, patient-centered, and flexible health care solutions are put into place. Only by placing doctors, patients, and their families first will we be able to retain a health care system that has been the envy of the world.”

Witnesses: Ellmers’ Bill Will Stop the Hemorrhaging Cancer Centers are Suffering Due to Sequester Cuts

Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held an important hearing on the impact of sequester cuts to cancer clinics throughout the nation. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have improperly applied the sequester cuts, resulting in unnecessary harm to cancer patients.

My bill, H.R. 1416, addresses these problems by clarifying that CMS should not be applying the sequester cuts to the underlying cost of Part B drugs, including chemotherapy, which are critical treatments for cancer patients. My bill stops Medicare patients from being forced out of their local community clinics to the more expensive hospital setting.

Testifying for the National Patient Advocate Foundation, CEO and President Nancy Davenport-Ennis said:

“[Ellmers’ bill] will at least stop some of the hemorrhaging that is happening now… [and will] take a significant step forward in resolving this.”

Click here to watch video of the testimony.

Other witnesses at Friday’s hearing included Cliff Binder – Health Care Financing Analyst, Congressional Research Service, James Cosgrove – Director, Government Accountability Office, and Barry Brooks, M.D. – Partner, Texas Oncology (on behalf of the US Oncology Network).

Update on H.R. 1416

The Cancer Patients Protection Act of 2013 currently has the bipartisan support of over 90 Members of Congress, including 23 Democrats. The whole point of sequestration is to reduce spending. However, treating people in hospitals is more expensive than providing the same service in the physicians’ offices.  In fact, studies show that providing chemotherapy costs Medicare, and taxpayers, $6,500 more per patient in the hospital setting and costs patients $650 more to receive treatment in the hospital.

Given that the application of sequester by CMS is actually costing taxpayer money, instead of saving it, Congress should be doing everything in its power to provide incentives to keep cancer patients in community cancer centers. Click Here to read the full text of H.R. 1416.

I Need Your Help

If you live outside the Second District, please follow this link to find contact information for your representative and ask them to co-sponsor H.R. 1416 to prevent these cuts from continuing to harm patients.