Rep. Price: Obamacare Causing 'Economic Destruction'

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) warned Thursday about the effects of Obamacare on jobs, saying it creates perverse incentives for businesses by compelling them to seek ways to avoid the health care law’s burdens.

“You know who the 29ers and the 49ers are?” Price asked the audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). “29ers are folks who have seen their hours reduced from 40 hours a week to 29 hours a week so that their employer can get out from under the incredible burden of Obamacare. The 49ers are those employers who have decreased the number of employees to under 50 so that they’re not exposed to the burdens of Obamacare.”

He said a car dealership in his district with 168 full-time employees has gone down to two full-time employees, while the remaining 166 workers have moved to part-time employment.

“That’s economic destruction. This law is not just harming people’s healthcare lives, it’s harming their economic lives,” Price said.

Price said it was “astounding” to hear Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s claim last week that all the “horror stories” being told about the effects of Obamacare are untrue.

“It’s actually astounding that the leader of the U.S. Senate could make such a statement and mislead and deceive the American people in that way,” he said.

Price, a doctor by trade, also warned about the effects of the new healthcare law on medical professionals.

“We’re gonna have a huge decrease in the number of physicians in this country because the federal government is coming in and telling them exactly what they must do and that’s not what they went to school and got their training for. They believe that patients, families, and doctors ought to be making the medical decisions, not Washington, D.C., ” Price said.

Price has introduced a bill that would replace Obamacare with a system he claims would improve access to healthcare by making it more affordable.

The system is based on six principles: affordability, accessibility, quality, responsiveness, innovation, and choice.

“Every single one of those principles is violated by Obamacare,” Price said. “The bill that we have put forward gives everyone the ability and the incentive to purchase the coverage that they want for themselves and their family, not what the government wants them to buy.”

The Obama administration announced on Wednesday that it would allow consumers to keep health insurance plans that do not comply with the standards of the federal healthcare law for another two years.

Republicans have criticized Obamacare’s latest delay as a ploy to help Democrats win the midterm elections in November.

“The president is desperately trying not to the fix the healthcare law, but to save the elections,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said. “Not to help patients, not to help providers, not to help the taxpayers of this country, but to help Democrats in the midterms.”

Price said he was not surprised parts of the law have been delayed until after the elections in November.

“What the president is admitting…is that this law doesn’t work. It doesn’t work across the board. It doesn’t work for patients, it doesn’t work for doctors, it doesn’t work for employers, it doesn’t work for employees,” Price said. “At this point, the federal government is waking up and realizing that [the law] doesn’t work from a financial perspective.”