In early February of this year (2013), Congressman Henry Waxman released the following email to his campaign/district followers.
Waxman cited three “major” issues, which must be qualified with quotation marks only because his efforts have only contributed greater problems to the already problematic policies and legislation promoted by the Obama Administration.
Earlier this month, President Obama gave his State of the Union address to Congress and laid out his priorities for the next year. As the senior Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I will play a major role in advancing his initiatives, especially implementation of the Affordable Care Act and taking action on climate change.
As Chairman of the Energy Committee, he did not know what was in his own Cap and Trade bill. He also sped-read through a perverse and disconcerting passage of the Affordable Care Act (which would have permitted employers to remove employees from their insurance plans) He also claimed that the law would hold down health care costs, which has not occurred.
As for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the law has grown unaffordable, while also losing its first official moniker “Patient Protection”, since fewer patients feel protected under this law. President Obama’s signature legislation may sign off on the growing failures of his presidency, in which has buffered medical professionals with more paperwork, higher costs, and less time to care for patients. Doctors have indicated their growing reluctance to practice medicine, and the state of California now faces an unprecedented doctor-shortage in combination with an unprepared rate of demand for newly-insured to visit local clinics.
Local legislators have been holding forum after forum to educate Americans to enroll for online health coverage. Those who already have plans, however, have witnessed not just the marked increase in premiums, but a weary reluctance on the part of many to pursue a single-payer system, an abortive plan which will ensure waste, fraud, rationing, and poor quality health care for us.
In the last Congress, House Republicans voted 33 times to chip away at parts of the Affordable Care Act or repeal it altogether. With President Obama’s reelection, Republicans know they can’t repeal the law, so they will try to cripple the Administration’s ability to implement its provisions. I will work to make sure the law is fully realized and millions more Americans gain access to insurance coverage.
Republicans have now passed a forty-second attempt to repeal Obamacare, and a growing majority of Americans support repeal of the law. President Obama’s campaign tours have diminished effect, and a plan of “repeat the lie often enough” is not working. Businesses and individual citizens reject his law, from inception, implementation, and implication.
House Republicans also voted 53 times to block action on climate change, even going so far as voting to deny its existence. Study after study has shown that the effects of climate change are occurring sooner and with greater impacts than expected. It is long past time to move forward to protect our planet for our children and future generations. Because Republicans refuse to address this challenge, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and I have formed a bicameral task force on climate change to educate the American public about the urgency of addressing climate change and develop effective policies.
Which studies is Waxman referring to? Climate change has been disputed by thirty thousand and growing experts on climate, meteorological, and scientific matters. Even though politicians, skeptics, and experts have challenged these findings, the fact remains that the argument and consensus on climate change as a serious matter remains unsettled.
As you know, our immediate task is to prevent automatic across-the-board cuts that will occur on March 1 if we don’t reach an agreement on reducing the debt. President Obama has offered to work with Congress on a comprehensive plan to reduce the debt, create a fairer tax system, and rebuild the middle class. He and Democrats in Congress are insisting on a balanced approach, however, and won't allow the burden of deficit reduction to be put on the elderly, poor, and disabled. We can find a solution without destroying the integrity of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
Since the release of this email, the sequester has been enacted, with negligible effect. The mainstream media could drum up very little action about the dangers of the automatic cuts. In a September town hall meeting, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles/Torrance) attempted to play up the devastating consequences of the automatic budget cuts. The effects have been unnoticed and unnoticeable, and a majority of Americans then and now approve the cuts, anyway. Besides, Waters outrageously inaccurate claim that the sequester would cost 170 million jobs has simply not come to pass.
If there is a failure in Washington regarding compromise and fiscal responsibility, look no further than President Obama and the Democratically-controlled US Senate, which have ruled out lasting, substantial cuts and reforms to maintain our present and protect our future.
I deeply appreciate all of the support you’ve shown me in the past and look forward to working with you in the new Congress.