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OPINION: The fight to repeal Obamacare

Before it became law, Republicans in Congress warned of the damage the so-called Affordable Care Act would cause and the burdens the American people would face as a result. Five and a half years later, Obamacare -- as it became known -- has chipp...

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Before it became law, Republicans in Congress warned of the damage the so-called Affordable Care Act would cause and the burdens the American people would face as a result. Five and a half years later, Obamacare - as it became known - has chipped away at family budgets, squeezed small business growth, and led to fewer choices for patients and their doctors. Obamacare has broken nearly every promise its Democrat authors made to the American people, including the oft-repeated promise that if you liked your doctor and health care plan you could keep them, "period."

Obamacare is broken - it always has been - which is why Republicans who campaigned for the Senate majority in 2014 promised voters that if they gave us the chance, we would send an Obamacare repeal bill to President Barack Obama. Despite fierce opposition from Democrats and the president, Senate Republicans have now made good on that promise.

Now that the Senate has passed a repeal bill, the ball will soon be in the president's court. He can either support this measure and help lift the burdens Obamacare has placed on the American people, or he can double down on his failed policies. If the president chooses the latter, it will be clear to the American people that the only thing standing in the way of an Obamacare repeal bill being signed into law is the current occupant of the White House.

The evidence to suggest repealing this fundamentally flawed law is necessary couldn't be any clearer. Obamacare was supposed to lower healthcare premiums. It didn't. It was supposed to reduce healthcare costs. It didn't do that either. And it was supposed to protect the health care plans Americans wanted to keep, which couldn't be further from the reality. Obamacare was sold to the American people as a health care solution, but it's turned out to be yet another health care problem.

Since Obamacare was signed into law in 2010, I've heard from countless South Dakotans who have shared with me their personal stories about how this burdensome law is affecting their families. One person recently wrote to tell me that her and her husband's health care plan is going up by more than $8,000 next year. That's a staggering amount of money. What family can afford such a significant increase in expenses from one year to the next? Sadly, that's only one of many stories I've heard, and these stories aren't unique to South Dakota.

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It's time to move away from the president's broken health care law and toward the kind of health care reform Americans are actually looking for: an affordable, accountable, patient-focused system that gives individuals control of their health care decisions. It's what the American people want, and it's what they deserve.

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