Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) today sat down with Kaiser Health News to discuss her proposal to repeal and replace the health care reform law. However, Ellmers was unable to name a single policy alternative to the reform law.
The Tea Party-favorite recently defended her decision to take a taxpayer-subsidized health care plan because she said that her $174,000 annual salary is too little to live on in Washington DC, and also opposes mandatory coverage for maternity care and pre-existing conditions.
Ellmers, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Health and Technology, was unable to muster a single specific policy proposal when asked, even though she insists that Republicans have “plenty of solutions.” She also told Kaiser that she wants to reconsider the reform law’s change to allow young dependents to stay on their parent’s plan until they are 26 years old, and also falsely claims that the reform law represents a “government takeover of health care,” as the plan actually preserves the private health care insurance system:
Q. You voted to repeal the health care law in the House, but that effort has stalled in the Senate. Do you think the American people are going to get tired of continuing to debate health care, especially if they want to see more movement on jobs and the economy?
A. I am sure it will be going to the Supreme Court and will be shot down as unconstitutional. I don’t think the American people are going to get tired of it because they see that this is a massive takeover of government in health care and every other aspect of their lives.
Q. If the health care law is repealed, do you think that people might get frustrated with not having some of the consumer protections such as children covered up until the age of 26 or help for seniors in the doughnut hole?
A. There again, we need to put in place patient-centered reforms. I don’t know that children need to be covered all the way up until age 26. But it has to be in the free market. The problem is we are losing the ability to make choices. That is your choice and this is the problem. We are losing the ability to make choices.
Q. There has been some criticism that Republicans don’t have a unified alternative. What is your strategy moving forward?
A. No. See, that is completely untrue. That is the rhetoric. We have plenty of solutions.
Q. Like what, specifically?
A. We have got to get the Obama plan out of the way. Again, we have already voted to repeal. We are working on the provision to get rid of the 1099 (reporting requirement for business purchases). There are plenty of other aspects of the health care bill that fall apart when one piece of the puzzle is taken out, so this is what we are doing. We are moving forward on this whether or not the Democrats and the Senate or the president are coming along.
I think we have made our message very clear. I think the American people hear that message. Overwhelmingly, the American people want this health care situation addressed. They want it addressed in the free market. The want it addressed where they can make their decisions for their own families and not have the president and the government make it for them.