News Center

A Weekly e-Newsletter from
Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA)

March 23, 2012

Dear Friends,

This week, the Senate resumed consideration of the House-passed Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or JOBS Act, H.R.3606, and passed it on Thursday. Additionally on Thursday, the Senate agreed to pass the House version of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or STOCK Act, and I voted in favor of the legislation. I agree that insider trading is illegal and that Senate rules should reflect that. As Vice Chair of the Senate Ethics Committee, I am working to ensure this. The bill now goes to President Obama to be signed into law.

Health Care Reform Anniversary
Today is the two-year anniversary of President Obama's terribly flawed health care law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. I voted against the health care bill in December 2009, and I have voted to repeal the law. We continue to find more and more major flaws in the law that will impact the lives of millions of Americans.

President Obama promised Americans that if you like your plan, you can keep it. Beginning in 2014, the health care law will require small business to provide health insurance to employees, or else pay a fine per employee. As a former small business owner, I know that small businesses will see this fine as significantly less expensive than providing health benefits. I predict many small businesses are going to get rid of their benefit plans and send their employees to the government exchange. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that as many as 20 million Americans will lose their employer-sponsored health insurance plans as a result of the law. Even worse, the mandates in the law could cause as many as 800,000 Americans to become unemployed.

In addition to decreasing patient choice, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Actis anything but affordable. The law itself will cost as much as $1.75 trillion, which is almost double than what President Obama initially claimed. On top of that, premiums are expected to go up by as much as $2,100 per family per year in the individual market as a result of the mandates in the law.

Finally, I am gravely concerned with the effects this law is going to have on our seniors. When I saw that the president's law takes $500 billion out of the Medicare trust fund, which at the time was predicted to go broke in 2017, and moves it to the other side of the balance sheet to underwrite the cost of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, I knew that we were in trouble. We're robbing Peter to pay Paul for a new program. It is robbing taxpayers of the money they've paid for a benefit that the law is going to diminish and move to fund beneficiaries who haven't paid a dime for it. This law is wrong for seniors. It's wrong for Medicare, and it's wrong for America.

This terrible law is full of broken promises, and I will continue to work to repeal the law and replace it with solutions to contain the costs of health care and increase patient choice through competition in the private-sector.

Also this week, I joined with 21 of my fellow senators is sending a letter to Dr. Douglas Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, requesting that the CBO provide an analysis of the budgetary effects of the 30 percent, 50 percent and finally 100 percent of Americans losing their employer-sponsored care. In other words, what would it cost the federal government if 48 million, 80 million or 160 million Americans were forced to access health care through the government exchange programs? We feel that it is extremely important that the American people have this information before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is fully implemented. We must know the full range of its potential costs and consequences.

In Other News
On Monday, I spoke at the Young Professionals Luncheon hosted by the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and hosted a town hall meeting with Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., in Warm Springs, Ga. I had the pleasure of giving an update from Washington on Ron Johnson's morning radio program on WJJC in Commerce, Ga. on Tuesday morning. Among other events and meetings, I spoke at the Financial Services Roundtable Spring 2012 Conference and the Dooly County Chamber of Commerce was in Washington this week, as well.

What's on Tap?        

Next week, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to a measure regarding oil and gas industry tax preferences.

Johnny Isakson