News Column

GOP Party Leader Warns 'Obamacare' Won't Be Popular

Feb 15 2013 10:00PM

Kevin McDermott

One of the national GOP's point people on health care told a gathering of Missouri Republicans tonight that although they couldn't stop "Obamacare" in the legal system, it will ultimately lose in the court of public opinion.

"It is unworkable, it is unaffordable and it continues to be very unpopular," U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said at the annual Lincoln Days Missouri Republican convention in downtown St. Louis tonight.

Speaking to a packed ballroom at the Renaissance Grand downtown, Barrasso also offered a pep talk to GOP activists following their presidential election defeat last year.

"To quote that great Missourian Mark Twain, reports of our death are greatly exaggerated," said Barrasso.

Barrasso, who is an orthopedic surgeon, said his core criticism of the Affordable Health Care Act is based on the Hippocratic Oath: "First do no harm. ... I believe this health care law is going to harm all of America."

Supporters of the new system believe it will create near-universal health care coverage, and drive down costs. Barrasso gave voice to opponents' views that it will do just the opposite.

Among his specific criticisms was a provision in the system that will require businesses with more than 50 employees to provide coverage. Barrasso argued that will create incentive for businesses to stop growing when their payrolls approach 50.

Also tonight, the state party gave conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly a lifetime achievement award. In remarks, she stressed the importance of organizing grass-roots Republicans. "I think that's where our party fell down ... last year," she said. "We didn't have a ground game that could match what Obama was doing. They were very efficient."

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is scheduled to address the gathering Saturday night.





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