Health Care Held Hostage by House Democrats

October 29, 2009

WASHINGTON. D.C. – House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA) released the following statement today after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Democrat Leaders unveiled H.R. 3962, a 1,990 page bill costing nearly $1 trillion that raises taxes, raises health care costs, punishes California, adds to our national debt while hurting America’s seniors, families and small businesses:

“Despite months of townhalls in which millions of Americans voiced their concerns and opposition to a government-run forced public-option, Congressional Democrats have unveiled a bill that was crafted in secrecy that raises taxes, health care costs and fails to provide the quality and affordable coverage the American people have been promised for months.

“Specifically, buried on page 1431 of the bill are provisions that encourage states to delay implementing meaningful tort reform and even goes so far as to punish states like California that have already enacted tort reform.

“Rather than seizing an opportunity to produce a bipartisan health care bill that reduces costs, expands coverage and protects choice, Speaker Pelosi has unveiled a 2,000 page bill that grows the deficit and the bureaucracy instead of improving affordable health care coverage.

“Rather than creating a form of nationalized, publicly managed health insurance, I have introduced an alternative (H.R. 3438) that would give the American people access to the selection of private plans that members of Congress choose from so we can safeguard patient choice and keep Washington bureaucrats out of the examination room.”

Among the concerns raised by the 1,990 pages of H.R. 3962:

  • The word “shall” 3,425 times (read: this is the government telling you to do something).
  • On page 1431 of the bill we see that no real tort reform exists in the Pelosi bill.  In fact, it gives states incentives to delay implementing reforms to curb frivolous lawsuits and drive down the cost of health care.  It punishes states that have already enacted tort reform – like California and the landmark MICRA reforms – by making them ineligible to receive incentives.
  • Creation of a government-run insurance program that could cause as many as 114 million Americans to lose their current coverage;
  • Abolition of the private market for individual health insurance, forcing individuals to purchase coverage in a government-run Exchange;
  • Stifling insurance regulations that would raise premiums and encourage employers to drop coverage;
  • Trillions of dollars in new federal spending that will exacerbate the deficit and imperil the nation’s long-term fiscal solvency;
  • Taxes on all Americans—individuals who purchase insurance, individuals who do not purchase insurance, and millions of small businesses— that will kill jobs and raise health care premiums; and
  • Cuts to Medicare Advantage plans that will result in higher premiums and dropped coverage for more than 10 million seniors.

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