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Political News and Commentary from the Right

Dems’ Health Plan Will Increase Costs for Families, Small Businesses

Mon Jul 20, 2009
By House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio)

Middle-class families are struggling every day with rising costs of housing, food, transportation, and taxes.  But for many, rising costs of health care are the most devastating of all.  That’s why Americans’ top priority during the ongoing health care debate is a plan that will reduce costs.  Unfortunately, the government takeover of health care offered by the Washington Democrats will not reduce costs; instead, it will dramatically increase costs – for your family, America’s small businesses, and all taxpayers.

Last week, Douglas Elmendorf, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) sent shockwaves through Washington when he told Congress that the Democrats’ plans would make health care more costly.  Throughout this debate, President Obama has spoken of the need to “bend the cost curve” or drive health care costs down.  During a congressional hearing, however, Mr. Elmendorf testified that the Democrats’ plans would have the opposite effect, saying that under their proposals, “The curve is being raised” and costs would “significantly expand.”  That’s because the Democrats’ plan adds a new layer of taxes, mandates, and bureaucracy on top of the current system.  If that’s not bad enough, the Democrats’ plan cuts Medicare and takes away choices for millions of seniors.  What does all of this mean?  Higher costs for the medicine and treatments you need.

Not only will the Democrats’ government-run health care plan raise your costs, but it also will raise costs for our nation’s employers – particularly small businesses.  At the heart of their proposal is a small business tax that, for tens of millions, means diminished job securityThe National Federation of Independent Businesses warns that the small business tax and mandates in the Democrats’ plan will destroy 1.6 million jobs – one million of them in small businesses alone.  And according to methodology developed by Dr. Christina Romer, the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, the government takeover would cost Americans 4.7 million jobs over the next 10 years.  With our economy at its weakest since the Great Depression and unemployment soaring far beyond the levels promised by the Administration, why would Congress promote policies that make jobs even more scarce?

In addition to warning that the Democrats’ plan will raise health care costs, the Congressional Budget Office also has projected that the House Democrats’ proposal would increase the deficit by another $239 billion over the next 10 years.  And even though the President continues to claim that those who like their current health care plans can keep them under the Democrats’ proposal, independent analysts disagree.  One analysis shows that 114 million Americans may be forced off their current coverage and onto a government-run plan as a result of the House Democrats’ legislation.  That means more costs to the taxpayers.  The bottom line: while Democratic leaders continue to claim that health care legislation must be “paid for,” the House Democrats’ bill is not.  Instead, it will force us to borrow more from China and countries in the Middle East and stick our children and grandchildren with the tab.

Faced with the Democratic bill’s extraordinary costs to families, small businesses, and taxpayers, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) suggested last week that Democrats should go “back to the drawing board.”  I agree, and that’s why House Republicans have offered real reforms that would lower health care costs.   Our plan roots out waste, fraud, and abuse in the system and reforms medical liability rules that cost families millions each year – millions that line the pockets of trial lawyers at the expense of patients and doctors.  It lets small businesses band together through associations and purchase health insurance for workers at a lower cost, just like large corporations and unions do.  It offers incentives to help Americans who do not have access to quality health care get the coverage they can afford, while giving states tools to design programs that make health care coverage more affordable.  And it reforms regulations so insurance companies compete for your business and you can shop around for the best coverage and price.

Health care reform is too important to rush through a flawed proposal that will raise costs – the opposite of what the American people want.  After the Obama Administration insisted that Congress rush to enact a “stimulus” bill that – by any objective account – has not created the jobs that were promised, Washington cannot afford to make that same mistake on health care.  Nonetheless, it appears Democratic leaders will stubbornly try to ram through this bill before Congress leaves for the August break with little debate or discussion, even as many rank-and-file Democrats express serious concerns about what a costly government-run plan would mean for families and small businesses.  It’s time for Democrats to scrap their government takeover of health care and work with Republicans on a plan that gives more Americans access to affordable coverage.

Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) is the House Minority Leader and a leading voice in the Republican party. He is currently serving his 10th term representing the 8th Congressional District of Ohio.

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July 20, 2009 - Posted by | Health Care | , , , , , ,

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