Time to Address Our Spending Problem, Obamacare's Broken Promises, and the 2013 South Plains Honor Flight
It’s Time to Address Our Spending Problem
Last week, Congress passed a bill to raise our debt ceiling and provide stopgap funding for the government. The deal put an end to the government shutdown, but it made no real reforms, and it didn’t address the many problems caused by Obamacare. I understand the shutdown’s repercussions for American families - that’s why I supported four funding plans to keep the government running. However, I could not vote to increase our debt limit without making genuine spending cuts. Our national debt is now more than $17 trillion. It has surpassed our entire GDP—the measure of everything produced in our economy. That’s a crippling legacy for our children and grandchildren.
We need to deal with our out-of-control spending problem now to protect our economy and the legacy of our nation in the future. That’s why I’ve introduced a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, and also a bill to require a two-thirds majority vote in Congress before we can raise our debt limit. I’ll keep fighting to keep the government accountable to you.
Obamacare’s Broken Promises
On October 1, the Obamacare exchanges opened, and suddenly “train wreck” seemed like a generous term for the new health care law. There have been site closures, glitches, and other complications. Today, President Obama assured the public that these problems would quickly be fixed by a team of technical experts. But it’s hard to believe that a few weeks of troubleshooting can fix what wasn’t done correctly during three years of preparation.
Why is this problematic? For one thing, if you are an individual without health insurance, the individual mandate requires you to purchase coverage or pay a fine. That’s why I pushed so hard for the individual mandate to be repealed, defunded, or at the very least delayed. It’s not fair to enforce this mandate if millions of people are unable to access the Obamacare exchanges. But the Senate refused to negotiate on this point and forced a government shutdown, even as the evidence of the exchanges’ failure grew before their eyes.
The problems with the exchanges are even more troubling because they’re just one symptom of the law’s larger flaws. Instead of lower costs, we’re getting higher premiums. Instead of getting to keep your insurance, thousands of people are being kicked off their plans. Instead of accurate coverage, we’re getting flawed data.
I know that many of you have your own stories about how Obamacare is affecting your health coverage. If you’d like to share those stories with me, you can email TX19Feedback@mail.house.gov.
South Plains Honor Flight
I was honored last week to welcome over 70 veterans to our nation’s capitol. The South Plains Honor Flight brought these veterans to Washington, D.C. to commemorate their service and thank them for their sacrifice for our freedoms. The group of 150, which included the veterans’ family and friends, came to the Capitol Building on Thursday morning for a visit to the House Floor and a tour of the building. I was inspired to hear some of their stories, spanning from the battles of World War II to the more recent raids in Afghanistan. We must never forget the sacrifices they have made to provide America and her allies with the freedoms we enjoy today. Did you know someone on the Honor Flight? You can see pictures of their visit to the Capitol here.