U.S. Chamber of Commerce Calls for Repeal of Obamacare

By Penny Starr | January 12, 2011 | 11:51 AM EST

Tom Donohue, CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, gave his State of American Business address Tuesday in Washington, D.C. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) – Tom Donohue, CEO and president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said on Tuesday that the health care bill signed into law last year by President Barack Obama should be repealed.

“Last year, while strongly advocating health care reform, the Chamber was a leader in the fight against this particular bill, and thus we support legislation in the House to repeal it,” Donohue said. “We see the upcoming House vote as an opportunity for everyone to take a fresh look at health care reform and to replace unworkable approaches with more effective measures that will lower costs, expand access, and improve quality.”

Donohue made his remarks during his annual State of American Business address at the Chamber’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Donohue prefaced his announcement that the Chamber supports repealing what has come to be known as Obamacare by stating that government regulations should be reined in and the regulatory process needs to be reformed.

“First, we must rein in excessive regulations and reform the regulatory process,” Donohue said. “At the federal level alone, regulations already fill 150,000 pages of fine-print text and cost Americans $1.7 trillion a year.”

Donohue included the health care bill in what he called a “regulatory tsunami.”

“For example, the new health care law creates 159 new agencies, commissions, panels, and other bodies,” he said.  “It grants extraordinary powers to the Department of Health and Human Services to redefine health care as we know it. When the bill passed, Americans were promised that it would lower costs and allow anyone who liked their existing coverage to keep it. Instead, costs are rising and health plans are being forced to change.”

Donohue said the cost of the bill has already increased and it has created problems for Medicare coverage and that a growing number of businesses are considering ending employer-based insurance plans because of cost.

He also called the bill “unworkable.”

“By mid-December, HHS had already granted 222 waivers to the law -- a revealing acknowledgement that the law is unworkable,” Donohue said. “And, with key provisions under challenge in the courts by states and others, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.”

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