Rep. Ellmers calls Obamacare a ‘war on women’

McClatchy Washington BureauDecember 7, 2013 

US NEWS HEALTHCARE-ELLMERS 2 ABA

Rep. Renee Ellmers, U.S. Representative for North Carolina's 2nd congressional district

OLIVIER DOULIERY — MCT

— The Affordable Care Act is an example of a “war on women,” Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., said Saturday in the Republicans’ weekly address.

Women make many of their families’ health care decisions, Ellmers said, emphasizing that she was speaking not only as a congresswoman and chairwoman of the Republican Women’s Policy Committee, but also as the mother of a college student.

Ellmers said that the cancellations of some insurance policies showed that “the Obama administration is essentially saying it knows what’s best for you and your family. Not only that, they are making you pay more – usually much more – and in many cases, taking away the doctor you’ve been seeing for years.”

She added: “If you want to talk about a ‘war on women,’ look no further than this health care law.”

Ellmers has been one of the GOP’s go-to voices on the issue, appearing on talk shows and other venues to make the party’s case against Obamacare.

Her criticism of the health care law as a “war on women” comes just days after it was revealed that the Republican Party has been holding tutoring classes to help its lawmakers facing female challengers next year on ways to campaign against them without making offensive and politically damaging remarks.

GOP defeats in two Senate contest last year – Missouri and Indiana, seats that Republicans were expected to win – were at least partially attributable to comments by their candidates that alienated many women and generated considerable opprobrium, even from inside their own ranks.

In Ellmers’ talk, which was posted on the website of the speaker of the House of Representatives on Saturday morning, she cited three cases of people in her district who told her that their insurance premiums would double or increase even more under the new law.

In general, policy cancellations have occurred because under the law, insurance policies must include certain essential benefits. Individual and small group policies that were in effect before the law was signed in March 2010 – known as “grandfathered plans” – aren’t required to meet some of the new rules and consumer protections of the law. Consumers in those plans who want the new protections will have to take out new policies.

As far the costs, premiums are determined by a number of factors, and prices will vary depending on things like age and income.

Ellmers said House Republicans would keep “pressing the president to do the right thing. If he won’t scrap this law, he ought to delay it for all Americans before it can do further damage.”

Ellmers made opposition to the Affordable Care Act her main issue when she ran for Congress in 2010. She frequently has been invited to make the Republican case against it on national news programs. She was scheduled to talk about the law Saturday night on the Fox News Channel.

Before she was elected, the congresswoman worked as a registered nurse for 21 years, first in surgical intensive care and later in the general surgery practice of her husband, Brent Ellmers, in Dunn, N.C.

This was the second time Republican leaders asked her to give the weekly address. The address rotates between House and Senate Republicans. It is meant to be paired with the president’s traditional weekly radio address.

Email: rschoof@mcclatchydc.com; Twitter: @reneeschoof

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