House Republican women members stood before the Capitol Wednesday afternoon to deny that the GOP is waging a “war on women” and point out that the real antagonist to women’s health is Obamacare.
“It is our hope as Republican women, as wives, as mothers, as grandmothers and as concerned citizens that the Supreme Court will find that the health care law is unconstitutional,” said Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, vice chair of the House Republican Conference, noting that polls show a strong majority want Congress to repeal the health care law and replace it with an alternative.
According to the ten women who addressed reporters and onlookers, women are some of the most ardent opponents to Obamacare, making 85 percent of the health care decisions in America and wanting the ability to choose what best suits their families’ needs.
“We want to make certain that we are the ones that are in charge of making those health care decisions and that we are the ones working with physicians — that we are choosing the right provider for our families,” Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn said, stressing that flexibility for many women is key and that the legislation compounds the problem of overspending. “Whether it is spending, whether it is the cost of your health insurance whether it is the price at the pump, this administration is too expensive to afford. The moms of America know it, and we are continuing to fight on their behalf.”
Florida Rep. Sandy Adam argued that the “war on women” narrative has been a way to distract the country from women’s real opposition to Obamacare.
“We all know this is another smoke screen by this administration. They say it’s a war on women. It’s not a war on women, it’s a war on our religious liberties,” Adams said. “They want Obamacare, great, well they’ve gotten it and they kept saying that the American people will come along with it. The women in this nation — a lot of women — we say ‘no.’ We know what this is, this is putting government bureaucrats between us and our doctor. It gives government the decision making power, not us.”
New York Rep. Ann Buerkle reinforced Adam’s contention, explaining that Democrats are the ones waging war on a host of other pivotal issues.
“It’s not a war on women. It’s a war on all the out of control spending, a war on our seniors, and a an assault on the personal relationship we have with our physicians,” she said.
What ever the Supreme Court’s decision, North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers assured the crowd that Republicans will be steadfast in their efforts to eliminate the legislation.
“I am confident that they will find this awful piece of legislation unconstitutional, but regardless of what the Supreme Court decides, we remain committed to the full repeal of Obamacare. Why? Because we see the devastating effects it is already having,” the former nurse said, adding that women in her district regularly call her to complain that they are unable to find physicians who will treat Medicare patients. Ellmers said this is a direct result of the uncertainty created by the new health care law.
Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler piled on, giving Obamacare a grade of “F” for its broken promises to women — specifically for what she said was a failure to create jobs, lower cost or keep their current health care plan.
“Clearly it deserves and ‘F’ and we need to get back to a grade ‘A’ health care plan — one that will increase accessibility and make it more affordable,” said Hartzler.
One of the major themes that the members emphasized was women’s desire for choice.
“I have been contacted by women all across this country telling me that this health care bill takes away their choices,” South Dakota Rep. Kristi Noem said, stressing the need for multiple options for families to meet their unique health care needs. “Do you want to live in a country where the government makes your decisions for you?”
McMorris Rodgers added that the real issue behind what they see as the Democratic-manufactured “war on women,” is a need to distract from the real unpopularity of the president’s agenda.
“And as women look at this entire controversy more closely, what they see it isn’t Republicans trying to undermine women’s health, it’s that Democrats are trying to scare American women. But what American women really find scary are the President’s policies. Republican women are going to continue to focus on the issues that truly matter to women and men — jobs, the economy, the national debt, and repealing Obamacare.”