Saturday, November 7, 2009

Government takeover of health care

Tonight, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats passed H.R. 3962, the government takeover of health care in America.

I joined 176 Republicans and 39 Democrats in opposing the bill. You can click here to see how each Member of Congress voted. More information on the bill can be found here.

You can watch my remarks earlier this evening during the debate on the House floor here.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

America is at a Crossroads

Hours ago, the finishing touches were placed on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s health care reform bill. It is now available for public inspection – all 2000 pages of it. I encourage you to read the bill, its supporting documents, and analysis (click here). It is important for each of us to know what Congress is planning – which is undoubtedly the most significant domestic policy change we have witnessed in our lifetime.

My reaction:
Upon reading the bill, you will discover several compelling problems. First, the Pelosi legislation entirely ignores the fact that existing government health programs – Medicaid and Medicare – are on the verge of financial collapse. Fully funding our existing entitlement programs would require $40 trillion be raised today. This is money we neither have nor are capable of squeezing out of our economy.

Worse than ignoring the crisis, the Pelosi bill actually compounds it by forcing more than ten million Americans onto Medicaid and creating a new middle class health care entitlement program. These changes will cost more than $1 trillion, according to conservative estimates produced by the Congressional Budget Office. However, less optimistic projections suggest the cost will exceed $2 trillion.

Another key problem relates to the Pelosi bill’s false premise that Americans do not spend enough on health care today. In fact, we spend more on health care than any country in the world. On the other hand, we are not spending this money efficiently. The more government has taken over health care, the less efficient and more expensive it has become. We do not need to add another trillion dollars into a system that has proven to possess an endless appetite for spending; particularly government spending.

Thirdly, Democrats seek to solve the problem of the uninsured by forcing all Americans – including those with good insurance – into a new centrally controlled government system. If you like what you have, you will not be able to keep it.

In short, the Pelosi bill empowers civil servants and other Washington elites instead of Americans, their doctors, and other health providers. When fully implemented, the plan will force every insurance policy in America to be the product of a government contracting process. Traditional health insurance will be banned.

Health care in America is at a crossroads. At a cost of $500 million per page, the latest Democratic plan takes big government to an entirely new level. It is the wrong way to solve our health care challenges and it should be defeated.

If you are interested in learning more about my views on health care reform, including legislation I have authored, click here.