Posted by on May 14, 2013
Worst parts of Obama’s unpopular healthcare law coming soon
Kenny Marchant (R-TX-24)
May 14, 2013
When President Obama and Congressional Democrats drafted their healthcare reform law, ObamaCare, they front-loaded what they considered “popular” provisions in order to make it more palatable to the American public before the rest of the law would take effect in 2014. These provisions included allowing “children” up to the age of 26 to stay on their parents’ insurance plan and creating an underfunded insurance pool for people with preexisting conditions.
How did this front-loaded plan fare? Well, according to a new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation, ObamaCare today remains deeply unpopular among Americans, with only 35 percent holding a favorable view of the law. This should be very concerning to Democrats, and reports of Senate Democrats voicing their frustration and concerns with the law have been streaming into the news. One of the bill’s chief architects, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), even went as far as to predict a coming “train wreck” for implementation of the law, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) echoed that sentiment days later.
It seems like each day a new study or report is released that finds serious consequences coming from the law’s implementation. The law is significantly raising insurance premiums, will add to our federal deficits, reduce the quality of healthcare Americans receive, and it is already having dramatic consequences on our economy as businesses wrestle with the law’s onerous penalties and regulations. This was evidenced in the latest jobs report, which showed an increase in the number of part-time workers and a decrease in the average number of hours worked each week.
Recently, it was even reported that members of Congress were looking for ways to carve out an exemption from the law for themselves and their staffs. I will oppose any such efforts, and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has made it clear that he will not sneak any legislation into bills to solve the Democrats’ healthcare problems. Democrats in Congress are now realizing what Americans and businesses across the country already knew — this law is going to severely affect their own healthcare options. Rather than carve out an exemption for themselves, why not exempt all Americans from this coming train wreck?
House Republicans are preparing to once again vote on a full repeal of this disastrous healthcare law. Some will chastise this as a futile exercise, but it is not. A recent Fox News poll found that even 56 percent of Democrats nationwide now find the 15,000-plus pages of ObamaCare regulations “way over the top.” Congress has now had the chance to see first-hand how flawed this bill is, and this will give members in the House an opportunity to change their position. Furthermore, this will give freshman Republicans and Democrats an opportunity to show where they stand on the issue.
That Kaiser poll also found that 49 percent of Americans say they don’t have enough information yet to understand how ObamaCare will affect their own families. This should terrify proponents of the bill. Since the popular provisions were front-loaded, what is left to come are penalties, premium hikes, less jobs, reduced hours and a decline in the quality of our healthcare. This makes it difficult to see how the law becomes more popular over time.
So, with everything we know now about the law, do Democrats still support ObamaCare? Let’s find out.
Marchant is a member of both the House Ways and Means Committee and the Committee on Education and the Workforce.
To read on The Hill’s website, click here.
Congressman Marchant's Dallas Morning News Op-Ed: It’s high time we tamed our out-of-control tax codePosted by on April 15, 2013
Each year during tax season, American citizens and businesses are often surprised to learn the amount of their annual tax bill. This uncertainty is a direct result of a staggering 4 million-word tax code filled with confusing deductions and loopholes that make it difficult to understand and file tax returns.
In fact, the IRS’ own taxpayer advocate estimates that only 10 percent of individual filers will complete their own returns this year, with the rest choosing to pay someone else or purchase commercial software to help them.
What’s the cost? Each year American businesses and individuals spend over 6 billion cumulative hours complying with tax filing requirements at a cost to the economy of as much as $400 billion. Making this untenable situation worse is Obamacare. Not only does it increase current taxes and invent new taxes, but it requires every taxpayer to prove adequate levels of health insurance coverage to the IRS.
The basic fact is that the tax code is overly complex and out of date. It places an enormous burden on families and businesses and needs to be reformed and simplified. That’s the goal of Congress’ chief tax writing body, the House Ways and Means Committee, on which I have the privilege to serve. This year we are moving forward to achieve comprehensive, revenue-neutral tax reform.
Indeed, Speaker John Boehner has given our tax reform bill the coveted legislative designation of HR 1, signaling that this is the top priority of House Republicans this year.
Recently, I was fortunate to be selected by Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp to chair the Tax Reform Working Group on Debt, Equity and Capital. It’s one of 11 bipartisan working groups created by Camp to study policies that can help achieve revenue-neutral tax reform. My group is collecting information from constituents, stakeholders and policy experts, then will relay our findings to the full committee. They will use our findings on issues ranging from business debt and equity to capital gains and carried interest to help write a comprehensive simplification of the entire federal tax code.
Our tax code has not had a major rewrite in over 25 years, when in 1986 President Ronald Reagan worked with congressional Democrats to achieve a historic reform that simplified the tax code, lowered rates and broadened the tax base without imposing a higher tax burden on the U.S. economy.
Today our corporate tax rate is the highest of any nation in the world, and many small businesses are burdened by federal tax rates of almost 40 percent. This is not a recipe for economic growth and is why the issue must be addressed now.
Accomplishing tax reform will not be easy. Competing interest groups that have long enjoyed certain loopholes will seek to protect deductions. But with an economy growing at just 0.4 percent, with 12 million Americans out of work, with a national debt approaching $17 trillion and with 48 million Americans on food stamps, we must simplify the tax code to help strengthen the economy. Families and businesses paying taxes throughout the year should not be burdened by an additional round of time-consuming and expensive tax filing headaches. Americans deserve better.
Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Coppell, is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and chairman of the Tax Reform Working Group on Debt, Equity and Capital. He can be contacted through marchant.house.gov.
Posted by on April 08, 2013
Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) says the new ObamaCare insurance brokers known as “navigators” are likely to cost more than they’re worth because of "inflated" salaries.
Marchant's questions stem from a recently released Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposal outlining the specifics of the navigators, a fleet of individuals that will help Americans without employer-provided insurance figure out how to use the new healthcare exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act.
In an April 4 letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Marchant expressed concerns with the estimated hourly wages for the positions.
“In an attempt to reduce health care costs, the greatest possible portion of taxpayer funds should go to treating patients rather than being absorbed by administration and public relations,” wrote Marchant, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
The Federal Register document says assistance workers will be paid $20 per hour, project leaders will be paid $29 per hour and executives will make about $48 per hour.“These seem to be inflated hourly wages compared to corresponding positions in the private sector,” he said. “I am very concerned that tens of thousands of navigators will be hired at a time when thousands of current federal employees are being placed on furloughs to reduce our budget deficit.”
There are an estimated 337,000 private-sector insurance sales agents currently working in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average hourly wage is $30.50, or $63,400 per year.
The administration did not specify how many of these navigators would be hired in the proposed rule. But the federal government would only be offering grants for the ones working in states that opted to use the federal healthcare exchanges. States using their own marketplaces would have to supply their own navigators.
The new workers would not be able to enroll individuals into health coverage, but rather serve to guide them through the process. Whether working for the federal or state exchanges, the navigators are prohibited from being paid by insurance companies.
“I have great concerns over the lack of need and the significant resources that the navigator program and its support staff will consume,” Marchant continued. “Hiring tens of thousands of new workers that cannot treat patients, nor even by definition actually enroll citizens in a qualified health plan, appears to be a significant misuse of taxpayer funds.”
Posted by on February 01, 2013
Posted by on October 05, 2012
I can’t think of an issue that more perfectly captures the national debate than the one right now regarding the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. At the end of this year, current tax rates will expire and taxes will go up if nothing is done. The powerful Way and Means Committee, the chief tax writing committee in Congress of which I am a member, has already taken the lead and passed through the House of Representatives yet another extension of current rates for all taxpayers.
Some would have you believe this debate is about pitting rich and poor against each other. In truth, however, the expiration of current tax rates (and our subsequent plunge over the fiscal cliff) would have dire consequences for everyone, particularly the middle class. To be sure, failure to extend current rates would prove calamitous for our already fragile economy.
Recent surveys of small businesses have shown that economic uncertainty is hurting our fiscal recovery. From new, unnecessary regulations and taxes imposed by the President’s healthcare law to executive agency rule-making, almost no sector of the economy has been left untouched. And, as I travel throughout the 24th District, the primary message I receive from local small businesses is they want to know that their success will not be punished by the federal government.
Whether it’s a local manufacturer, a healthcare professional, or small mom and pop shop, they all seem to agree: The federal government needs to get out of the way. They talk of how they are unable to expand their operations and make hiring plans because of lingering uncertainty. They are unsure of new taxes and regulations the current administration is contemplating and they want current rates to be extended, if not made permanent.
The uncertainty fostered by this debate surrounding tax rates has brought to a head a critical issue that has momentum both on Capitol Hill and around the country, including the 24th District: the need for comprehensive tax reform. If achieved, comprehensive tax reform for individuals, families, and businesses can and will unleash a robust recovery in the American economy. What does reform mean? This means lowering all rates, eliminating most deductions, and simplifying the code into fewer tiers.
Comprehensive tax reform is a win-win for all involved. For individuals and families, this means fewer hours preparing tax forms and more discretionary income. For small businesses, this means less time spent with accountants and more time planning expansion and hiring. And for advocates of smaller, more accountable government, this means far fewer loopholes and a less intrusive IRS.
The fiscal cliff is something we must address by extending current rates in the near term. But it also allows us to have a debate about tax reform and the proper size of government. Does anyone really believe that the current tax code is desired by and beneficial to job creators and families? A tax code that requires an army of tax professionals to navigate does no one any good.
Yes, loopholes should be closed. Yes, most deductions will be eliminated. But with our economy slowly plodding along, families struggling to keep their heads above water, and American companies at a competitive disadvantage, I can’t think of a better time or reason to enact bold tax reform that lowers rates, simplifies the code, and brings clarity to a tax system that has grown out of control.
There is no doubt that Congress must avert the fiscal cliff. If, however, the goal continues to be punting the problem for another year, we will have missed a clear opportunity to make reforms that will help American families and businesses get back on the path to prosperity.
Posted by on March 23, 2012
In memory of my father and my hero,
Hobart Clay Marchant
October 23, 1920 - March 22, 2012
Service will be at 1 p.m. Monday at Carrollton Nazarene Church.
Arrangements are by Restland Funeral Home of Dallas.
Posted by on December 23, 2011
Posted by on November 17, 2011
Congressman Marchant Urges Passage of the Balanced Budget Amendment
Posted by on October 20, 2011
In Memory of Staff Sergeant Taylor
The 24th District of Texas has lost one of our own in the Global War on Terror. Staff Sergeant Houston M. Taylor of Hurst died on October 13th in Afghanistan while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Taylor served with the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry regiment, 25th Infantry Division. He was married to his childhood sweetheart and a father of two children.
I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Staff Sergeant Taylor. There are no words to do justice to the honor with which he served his country. He made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this time of loss.
Posted by on October 12, 2011
Marchant: Trade deals should be on a fast track to passage