President Barack Obama has made the battle personal over his signature healthcare law, but the fight is for "providing care and not brea
king the best system in the world," GOP Rep. Phil Roe of Tennessee said Friday in the wake of the House vote to defund the Affordable Care Act.
"We had the best healthcare system in the world and we're about to blow it up," the Tennessee physician told "The Steve Malzberg Show."
Roe dismissed the president's criticism of Congress for being "focused on trying to mess with me."
"We serve the American people," Roe said. "He's made this about him. It's not about him. It's about providing care and not breaking the best system in the world."
Roe said the next crucial battle will be over the debt ceiling — and that it may provide a chance at compromise.
"To delay this Obamacare, if we can't completely defund it, is so important," Roe said. "As a budget-deficit hawk … I would be willing to raise the debt ceiling if we could delay this thing for a year just to hopefully … get it straight. It's that bad for the country."
Roe said Obamacare has already turned out to be "devastating" for some areas, noting how one medical center in Tennessee is cutting 1,000 jobs, and the Cleveland Clinic is chopping up to 3,000 jobs.
Traveling around his district, he said, "the theme was the same everywhere.
"The uncertainty, people have held back hiring, they don't know what to do," he said, adding that even though he read through the entire 2,700 pages of the law, "I can't tell anybody who works for me here in Congress what their premiums are going to look like, and how do you think businesses can plan when they have that uncertainty?"
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