U.S. Sen. John Barrasso tells Newsmax.TV that “Americans are right to be angry” at President Barack Obama for devoting much of his administration to healthcare instead of fixing the economy.
“Americans are right to be angry — one, because of the healthcare law . . ., which they know doesn’t address their major issue of healthcare, which was the cost of the care,” the Wyoming Republican, a former orthopedic surgeon, told Newsmax on Wednesday. “And they have a right to be angry because the president did not focus on the economy, which is what the American people wanted him to focus on.”
The Affordable Care Act, Barrasso said, “doesn’t really address the needs of the nation.”
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The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule Thursday on the constitutionality of the healthcare law, considered the hallmark of President Obama’s term. The justices could throw out the entire law or toss the individual mandate, which would gut the measure.
“If they throw out just part of it, the plan would be to repeal whatever is still standing,” said Barrasso, chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee. “And if they throw out all of it, that would be actually the right decision – and would get us back to the position of starting to address healthcare in a way that we know will then work to help people get the care that they need from a doctor that they chose at lower cost.
“That’s what we should have been doing at the beginning, except that they did this one-size-fits-all 2,700-page bill – and you’re just not going to see that as being proposed by the Republicans.
“We are not going to repeat the same mistakes that the Democrats made,” Barrasso said.
Barrasso, who graduated from the Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1978, is most critical of Obamacare’s individual mandate. “I just don’t think the government has a right to come into your house and tell you that you have to buy a product, any product, and especially one approved by the government.”
The law is reflection of Obama’s misplaced priorities, Barrasso said.
“This is about the fact that Americans were hurting and wanted the president to address the economy when he got into office,” he said. “Instead of doing that, he ignored the needs of the American people and focused on his own desire, on this topic of healthcare.
“Here we are in 2012, [with] unemployment at 8.2 percent, people graduating from college who can’t find jobs, going back to live with their parents – and the president has spent all this time on a law that the Supreme Court may rule unconstitutional, and 72 percent of Americans believe is unconstitutional and should be overturned.”
Still, Barrasso fears that Obama – whom recent polls show continuing to hold leads in such key swing states as Ohio and Pennsylvania – may very well win a second term over likely Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
“I think it’s going to be a very close election,” he said. “I think it’s going to stay that way all the way through. We still have months ahead to go. I think it’s going to be based on the economy.
“People want to help the economy. They want to have a feeling that the country is heading in the right direction, and right now the economy is not healthy. The country is not headed in the right direction – and, to me, it’s a result of the policies of this administration.
“Now, we are living with the Obama economy, and it is not working – and it’s because his policies are not the right policies for our country.”
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