Proud to oppose the government takeover of health care

Monday, March 22, 2010

As the old adage goes, "Nothing good ever happens after midnight." It wasn't quite midnight when the House of Representatives voted to pass a government takeover of health care; it was closer to 11:00 p.m. on Sunday, but the 219 to 212 vote was not good news for our country.

I support providing quality, affordable health insurance to Americans, as well as keeping what works in our health care system. However, in their zeal to confront the challenges to our country's health care system, Democrats in Congress let the American people down.

Instead of listening to the concerns of the American people, the majority party managed to jam through a purely partisan bill which will transform 1/6th of our economy. This legislation fundamentally changes the way Americans live and conduct business, and it deserves meaningful, thoughtful bipartisan deliberation. Working behind closed doors to entice only Democrat votes is not bipartisanship.

What I've heard traveling throughout Nebraska's Third District, reading your letters, and taking your calls is you reject the 2,000-plus page bill which raises taxes, kills jobs, increases costs, and slashes Medicare to fund a government takeover of your health care. You reject a bill which empowers government bureaucrats to make health care decisions currently entrusted to doctors and patients and implements unreasonable, once-size-fits-all mandates.

The bill includes nearly $200 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage which will hurt millions of seniors. It raids Medicare to grow the size of government and pay for new entitlements.

The bill raises more than one-half trillion dollars in new taxes. These taxes -- coupled with the new regulations and bureaucracies created -- will hamstring small businesses at a time when nearly one in 10 Americans are out of work. It is estimated the IRS will need to hire 16,500 additional workers to enforce all the new taxes and penalties in this misguided health care plan.

The Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan agency which estimates the cost of legislation, has stated this health care plan actually will increase federal deficits by $50 billion over the next ten years when factoring in billions of dollars in necessary spending not included in this bill.

Nebraskans deserve a common-sense, step-by-step approach to reform which lowers costs for families and small businesses and increases access to affordable, high-quality care. Instead of a government takeover which increases taxes and spending, Congress could work together in a fiscally disciplined, bipartisan manner to ensure fair competition in the insurance market, update provider payment reimbursements, remove barriers to access for individuals with preexisting conditions, and seek cost savings through malpractice reform.

We should allow people to purchase affordable insurance across state lines, allow small businesses to pool together to purchase plans at lower costs, expand access to affordable coverage by improving Health Savings Accounts, and encouraging states to implement reforms which make coverage more affordable.

Unfortunately, at such a crucial time, Democrats in Congress allowed haste to compromise their commitment to the American people. The public is rightly concerned with putting Washington in charge instead of patients, families, and doctors. While it is unclear exactly what the next steps are, what is crystal clear is you deserve better.

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  • Went to pick up my yearly prescription for Patanol eye-drops this morning.. I need it in the spring for allergies.. Cost out of pocket with Blue Cross Blue shield individually-purchased insurance plan (my employer does not offer health insurance).. $80 out of pocket.. Last year, it was $40.. Blue Cross says this is a tier-one drug.. I have been using it for at least ten years.. The bottle is no bigger than half my thumb, and probably has less than an ounce in it.. Add this yearly prescription, plus 5 monthly prescriptions that my family uses per month, my out of pocket medication expense is $480 this month (on top of $1200 per month in premiums).. The Health care system (and drug companies) are just FINE.. It is ME, the middle class worker that HAS the issue..

    -- Posted by mickhaney on Mon, Mar 22, 2010, at 3:15 PM
  • Maybe you'd been listened to if you weren't calling it a government takeover of healthcare. It doesn't even offer a public option.

    More wingnut rhetoric. I expect this kinda crap from Rush.

    -- Posted by Meshedup on Mon, Mar 22, 2010, at 4:52 PM
  • Hopefully it will be challenged sucessfully in the courts. mandating all Americans have to buy something is unconstitutional.

    I will be interested in four years when this bill kicks in Mick if your costs go up or down.

    -- Posted by Chaco1 on Mon, Mar 22, 2010, at 6:43 PM
  • Nothing is free. Your premiums will in all likleyhood raise with or without this bill.

    Your taxes will without any doubt go up. You can not put 15 million more individuals on medicaid, expect the states to pay for them and believe that your taxes will not go up to pay for them.

    In the future you can pay $1200 and more for your premium and at the same time you can help pay all or part of the premium for the 31 million who do not have insurance.

    Mick do you really think you will be getting something for nothing?

    -- Posted by RLD on Mon, Mar 22, 2010, at 9:13 PM
  • Step by step, you state Adrian, steps that the GOP would love to take oh lets say another 10, 15 or 20 years? While in the mean time the huge insurance companies continue to rake in huge profits, the CEO's continue to rake in huge bonuses, and the average families continue to struggle to just have a decent level of life.

    I would like to suggest, let's just cut through all the crap, and give every citizen the right to purchase at the same cost you have, the very same insurance coverage you and all our so called representatives have! At the very same costs you have. What do you say. If your choices are good enough (and your choices are mighty fine) for you and your cronnies in D.C., give every citizen the right to also purchase it. That would take all of the right vs. left out of the equation.

    But I'm sure that will never happen.

    I have lately received email after email calling for a complete "cleansing" of the senate and house, no better place to start than the 3rd district of Nebraska!

    I also protest the fact that any of my Nebraska tax dollars be spent on any law suit that John Bruning comes up with, just to feather his political nest. Program after program, funding for roads, education etc. etc. is being cut by millions and Bruning wants to spend millions on a law suit against the federal government. Why now? Why not years ago when all the unfunded mandates for everything else hit us? Oh but the political winds are blowing in the right direction for ol John and he wants to make sure he has his sail raised to catch them!

    -- Posted by goarmy67 on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 10:17 PM
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