WASHINGTON D.C. - Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) gave the weekly GOP response Saturday. You can read her full remarks below:
Hi, I'm Ann Wagner.
It's truly an honor to represent the heartland of our country in St. Louis, Missouri, as a member of the United States Congress.
Growing up working in my parents' carpet store, my daddy used to tell me that your word is your bond. That when your bond is broken; your trust is broken.
Unfortunately, President Obama has broken that bond with the American people, and they no longer can trust his word.
It seems like every week there is another broken promise from this administration about ObamaCare.
As a candidate for president, then-Senator Barack Obama promised to sign a health care law that would, and I quote, "cut the cost of a typical family's premium by up to $2,500 a year."
But as it turns out, the so-called 'Affordable Care Act' is not so affordable for American families after all.
A quietly-released report from President Obama's administration just last week revealed that 11 million workers will see their premiums go up because of ObamaCare.
These aren't just any workers that we're talking about – they are small business workers, some of the hardest-working people in our country. The very engine of our economy.
As a nation we rise and fall with their success.
So not only is this another broken promise to 11 million people who will lose more of their hard-earned money.
It's another slap in the face to our already-hurting middle class.
Now, the administration didn't want you to see this report. It only exists because Republicans demanded it in early 2011, as part of a spending cut agreement. Even then, the report was submitted nearly three years late, quietly last Friday evening, with no public announcement.
Remember when we were promised that this was going to be the 'most transparent' administration in history?
The simple truth is Democrats in Washington are willing to say and do whatever it takes to protect their health care law.
Because it empowers the Government and not the American people.
Just this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that there are, and I quote, "plenty of horror stories being told" about health care, but "all of them," he says, "are untrue."
Try telling that to my constituents who are struggling to make it to the 15th and the 30th of every month in this tough economy.
Hardworking Missourians like Jenn, the owner of "Cotton Babies" – a small business owner that makes high quality diapers for consumers all over the world. Her premiums were projected to double – putting her family's business and livelihood in jeopardy.
Let me share with you what Jenn wrote to me. She said and I quote:
"I believe in affordable health care.… We provide great health care insurance to our staff. We pay for 70% of the premium for the staff members AND their entire family. We operate on microscopic margins and have valued taking care of our employees over taking a profit. I simply don't know how we, as small business owners, are going to be able to shoulder the load with these changes."
Every day, I hear from hardworking Missourians like Jenn who are struggling under the weight of this health care law.
And, Senator Reid, Jenn's story and countless others are in fact true.
And, Mr. President, you owe our 11 million workers an explanation.
Are you willing to look them in the eye and say that you stand by this law?
Are you willing to confess that ObamaCare is causing premiums to skyrocket while the quality of our health care is going down?
And are you willing to work with us to provide real health care solutions that will lift up the American people?
Mr. President, we are ready.
The American people deserve better. Our families deserve affordable and quality health care. And our children deserve a brighter future.
Thank you for listening and joining this debate.