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Upmeyer: Obamacare “will have a negative impact on job growth and opportunity for Iowans”



This news story was published on July 9, 2012.
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From Rep. Linda Upmeyer –

In the wake of the United States Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care law, some are debating whether the government takeover of the healthcare system will have any impact on our economy. As a state legislator, I have the opportunity to talk with many of the job creators in our state. It is clear from those talks that the law will have a negative impact on job growth and opportunity for Iowans.

Many of these entrepreneurs would like to expand their businesses and hire more employees. However, they are unable to hire more workers today because of the added burden imposed by the health care law. Americans for Tax Reform is reporting there will be at least 20 hidden tax increases to help pay for the new health care system. At a time when the number one issue facing our country is the ability to create and sustain jobs, implementing such an onerous law is clearly the wrong medicine for the nation’s economy.

In the “2011 Iowa Employer Benefits Study” by David P. Lind Benchmark, researchers found that 65 percent of Iowa businesses believed that the health care reform law would increase the cost of health plans offered by employers. A majority of these businesses felt it was necessary to repeal the provision that requires employers with 50 or more workers to provide coverage or pay a $2000 per worker penalty. The health care law is clearly one of the first things businesses are considering when looking into the future. That is not a good thing for those looking for work today.

The health care law has already done more than just stall hiring. It has cost some Iowans their jobs. Up until this spring, the Nemshoff Furniture Factory in Sioux Center, Iowa employed up to 130 people. This plant manufactured furnishings for health care providers. This spring, Nemschoff announced it would be closing the factory. Their reason – the health care reform law. The health care providers who were Nemschoff’s customers were no longer ordering their products, because the providers feared there would be reduced reimbursement for services, increased government regulations, and higher operating costs – all brought on by the health care law. By September, all of the jobs at the factory will be gone.

Americans know that our health care system needs fixing. But they have already determined that the prescription written by President Obama and Congressional Democrats is definitely not the remedy they were seeking. Instead of lower costs and improved access to care, they are faced with the loss of their existing coverage and reduced choices for services. We can do better by letting states implement market-based reforms that expand competition and allow consumers to play a more active role in their care. Iowans are capable of making their own health decision and don’t need Washington, D.C. making those decisions for them.

On a different note, congratulations and great job to all of this year’s participants in the Butler County Fair. The amount of time, focus, and energy that goes into preparing to show at the county fair is quite extraordinary. I have enjoyed following the coverage and everyone’s success. Your hard work certainly paid off!

It has also been fun to attend many of the annual town celebrations around the area. This is a special time of the year in our state. Parades, hot dog eating contests, spelling bees, county fairs- the list could go on and on…nothing is better than summertime in North Iowa. A big thank you to all of the volunteers who make the events so successful.

See you at fair, on the parade route, or at the next town celebration! As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me at linda.upmeyer@legis.state.ia.us or 515-281-4618 with any feedback.

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