Rep. Blackburn: Obamacare Is Imploding

Wednesday, 03 Jul 2013 07:25 PM

By Greg Richter and Kathleen Walter

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The Affordable Care Act is not quite as affordable as President Barack Obama promised, and that's why the administration has decided to delay implementation of one of the healthcare law's key provisions, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., tells Newsmax TV.

The White House announced Tuesday that the mandate for businesses to offer their employees insurance coverage will be delayed until 2015.

Story continues below video.

The administration is in damage-control mode, Blackburn said. "This is the first piece of the law that they are admitting is not ready to be rolled out and therefore they are making a decision to delay," she tells Newsmax.

The White House took action, she said, to beat Congress to the punch. The House Energy and Commerce Committee, on which Blackburn sits, was sending letters on Wednesday to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to ask for their reasoning behind the delay.

Despite the administration's move to delay the mandate, Blackburn still sees Obamacare hurting workers and damaging the U.S. economy.

"What you see is that, yes indeed, it is imploding, and what we are seeking to do is to lessen the damage when this finally crashes," Blackburn said. "Maybe the thing to do is to delay the entire (law's) implementation."

Fifty-three percent of the public wants Obamacare repealed, she said, and she and her Republican colleagues in Congress are focusing on doing just that.

The administration's inability to get infrastructure in place is helping opponents, she said.

"They have no template that they can point to," Blackburn said. "I have repeatedly asked the administration and Secretary Sebelius if they can point to even one public option plan that has reduced cost, increased outcomes, given a better quality of life, increased access. They cannot answer that question because there is not one."

Blackburn, like many others, suspects a political calculation behind Obama's decision. Critics believe the president fears a political backlash in the 2014 midterms, and that's probably why he pushed the employer mandate until after those elections.

The public has not appreciated Obama's political campaign-style agenda, Blackburn said. "They don’t see it as presidential."

Blackburn acted as floor manager on the June 18 House bill that would prohibit most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is considering sponsoring a similar bill in the Senate.

Blackburn thinks the odds of passage are good because "science is on our side . . . and you've got 80 percent of the American people that say abortions should not be allowed once that baby feels pain."

On immigration, Blackburn thinks the Senate should follow the House's lead and act on one issue at a time rather than sticking with the comprehensive bill it passed last week.

"The American people have repeatedly said, we don't like these great, big, thousand-page, 2,700-page bills; we want you to take up one issue at a time and deal with it," she said.

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