The policies of President Barack Obama take America backward in terms of economic growth, said Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio.
Johnson addressed a crowd of supporters Friday gathering at North Star Polaris in St. Clairsville, and he referenced jobs numbers for the month of June that came out in the morning. For the 41st consecutive month, unemployment was listed at 8.2 percent or greater, he noted.
"Another report said just 84,000 jobs were created in the public sector" during the month of June, Johnson said. "Things are going in the wrong direction for this country. This president's policies have hurt America, and they continue to make our economy worse."
Photo by Joselyn King
Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, center, stands with wife Lee Ann and son Nathan as he addresses supporters during a rally Friday at North Star Polaris in St. Clairsville.
Johnson pointed specifically to health care reform law as Obama policy that is causing American economic downturn.
"We've seen policies like Obamacare - he promised us this would create jobs," Johnson said. "It's not creating jobs. In fact, 40 percent of American businesses are saying that's why they can't create jobs.
"He promised us it would cut costs. It has not cut costs. In fact, the (Congressional Budget Office) now says that law is going to cost our economy about $2 trillion."
And Americans also were promised they could keep their own doctors under any insurance plan, he continued.
"We're not even going to keep our own doctors because we're driving health care providers out of the industry," Johnson said. "One in three health care practitioners are saying they can't keep their businesses open, and they can't take anymore Medicare patients.
"They're either going to have to stop taking Medicare patients or close down shop. That's going to mean bureaucrats in Washington are going to be determining what kind of health care we get."
The health care reform law cut $500 billion from the Medicare fund, according to Johnson. He said Republicans are trying to put forth a plan that makes certain those age 55 and older see no change to their Medicare benefits, and that younger people continue to have the Medicare option in the future.
Johnson acknowledged there are good parts to the new health care reform law. He cited as positive examples in the law - provisions prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, and that college-age students now can remain on their parents' health care plan until age 26.
But Republicans still "need to reaffirm" their commitment to repealing health care reform, Johnson said. The entire law needs to be repealed and replaced with another, and a Republican health care law would encourage competition among insurance providers, he said.