Newsletter: This Week in Washington 6.19


Date: June 19, 2015
Location: Washington, DC


High co-pays, high deductibles, and skyrocketing insurance premiums that you're facing under Obamacare continue to be the focus of your calls and complaints about the program. This past week I met with some of the insurance providers and we discussed the concerns of the Obamacare mandate --driven rate hikes. Everyone is concerned about what is happening with the cost of insurance. These costs plus the enormous out of pocket expenses present a barrier to health care for you and your family. I've been working hard to end that. If you can't afford your co-pay, deductible, or premium, your insurance card is worthless. The King v. Burwell decision in the Supreme Court will arrive any day now and that decision will provide us an opportunity to undo the damage of the past 5 years and reset the health care access button. In the King v. Burwell case, the Supreme Court will set the date for the subsidies to end. At that point the Obamacare subsidies must end and must not be renewed. Many of you agree - increased access to affordable health care begins with the end of Obamacare subsidies. This week I wrote an op-ed for Fox News discussing the conservative way forward to affordable health care and patient-focused reforms.

In other Obamacare news, this week the House passed a bill to repeal the medical device tax. The medical device tax, mandated by Obamacare, requires that a 2.3% excise tax on medical devices such as pacemakers, hospital beds, and artificial joints, be collected at the point of sale. Not only does this tax effect medical device manufacturers -- which Tennessee ranks 7th among states for the size of its industry -- but it effects Medicare patients, hospitals, and the millions of Americans who depend on these devices. Our country is the world leader in manufacturing life-saving and life-enhancing treatments, employing more than 9,000 workers in Tennessee and contributing more than $5 billion per year to Tennessee's economy. There is no reason to stifle an industry in which Tennessee is a world-leader. I look forward to making certain we repeal other components of Obamacare and get them off the books for good!

Through multiple studies and congressional hearings, Congress has learned that the Ex-Im Bank, an independent agency charged with backing loans for U.S. companies to do business overseas, has been riddled with waste, fraud, and abuse. The Ex-Im Bank has been loaning taxpayer dollars to countries the United States has sanctions against, and in turn, these countries have spent your hard-earned taxpayer dollars on luxury cars and expensive dinners. The Bank has also had several indictments and convictions against its own employees for fraud and money laundering. The Ex-Im Bank cannot engage in new business without Congressional authorization. Fortunately, that authorization is up at the end of this month and I'm leading the charge to end the Ex-Im Bank, which is, in my opinion, more or less corporate welfare.

This week marked three years since President Obama first unveiled his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, more commonly referred to as DACA. DACA has provided deportation deferrals and work permits to illegal aliens, which has served as a magnet to encourage more illegal aliens to cross our Southern border. The President's decision to expand amnesty for over five million unlawful entrants is a gross abuse of power. I've been working hard to enforce the rule of law. Earlier this year as part of the Department of Homeland Security funding bill, the House approved my proposal to freeze the DACA program. The House first approved my legislation, which would also prevent President Obama from taking future executive actions to expand amnesty for illegal aliens, back in August of 2014.

Be sure to keep up with all the legislation I'm working on and places I'm going in the district by following my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. This weekend I look forward to enjoying time with my family, working in the garden, and visiting friends at the Farmer's Market. I also want to send Happy Father's Day wishes to all of the dads and granddads who are reading this e-mail.

I wish you a blessed weekend.