Healthcare

Questionable arguments endanger new health benefits (Rep. Michael Honda)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in fervent opposition to this reckless effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act and put insurance companies back in charge of our healthcare system, rather than patients and their doctors.  The Affordable Care Act, landmark healthcare reform legislation enacted just last year, makes health care more affordable by immediately providing small businesses with a tax credit to provide insurance coverage, and in 2014, by providing tax credits to those who need help buying insurance -- representing the largest middle class tax cut for health care in history.  Once the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented, Americans will have access to affordable health coverage in a new competitive private health insurance market through state exchanges.
 
Many critical benefits have already gone into effect, including bans on the worst insurance company abuses and coverage options for many Americans who have previously been locked out of the insurance market because of a preexisting condition.  Indeed, millions of American families and businesses are already feeling the positive effects of the Affordable Care Act, and many more will benefit as the final provisions are phased in over the next few years.

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First do no harm (Rep. Frep Upton)

The chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee delivered the following remarks on the House floor today during the debate on legislation to repeal healthcare.

Mr. Speaker, today we take a step toward compassionate, innovative and job-creating health care.  It’s ironic that we must end something to realize a new beginning.   But that’s exactly what Obamacare has compelled us to do.  And that’s precisely what we will do today.

It’s time to be honest with the American people. 

Remember the Hippocratic Oath?  First, do no harm.

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It's time to push ObamaCare aside (Rep. John Kline)

For 20 consecutive months more than 14 million Americans have been unemployed. As much as we would like to solve this problem, the federal government cannot legislate or regulate our way to job creation. We can, however, foster economic certainty that will encourage families, businesses, and entrepreneurs to spend, hire, and invest. And that is what we will try to do today. 

Almost one year ago Democrats launched a nearly $1 trillion government takeover of health care that increases national health care spending by $311 billion over 10 years and levies more than $500 billion in new taxes on individuals, consumers, and businesses. The 2,700 page law has led to more than 4,000 pages in new rules and regulations – and the law is only 10 months old. The uncertainty of what this all means for individuals and businesses today – and in the months and years to come – is having a chilling effect on the country’s job creators.

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Health care repeal would undermine efforts to reverse obesity epidemic

There are key provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) that specially seek to reverse America’s obesity epidemic. They are not partisan issues, but rather, fundamental economic and health issues. As America faces $168 billion in annual medical cost associated with obesity, and for the first time in our nation’s history, our children may live a shorter lifespan than their parents, now is the time to aggressively confront this epidemic from both sides of the aisle. With two thirds of adults and nearly one in three children overweight or obese, now is the time to support provisions that would help reverse this growing epidemic.  

The fact is that obesity is one of America’s costliest diseases. Nearly one of every five dollars spent on healthcare in the United States will be attributable to obesity and obesity-related conditions within the next decade. Indeed, Medicare is projected to payout nearly $75 billion for diabetes care alone by 2019. Additionally, medical expenses for obese employees are 42 percent higher than for a person with a healthy weight, and loss of productivity due to obesity among full-time workers in the United States ads up to another $73.1 billion per year — numbers that should be difficult to ignore as Congress emphasizes strengthening U.S. businesses and growing jobs. 

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Repealing Obamacare and replacing it is the right medicine for our nation (Rep. Phil Roe)

As a physician, I have dedicated my life to the treatment and care of my patients. Through my experience in health care, I have seen firsthand the need for reform. When I came to Congress, I brought this knowledge and experience with me, reaching out to Members on both sides of the aisle in hope of creating health care legislation that would reduce costs and protect the doctor-patient relationship. Instead, Obamacare is what the American people have been forced to reckon with – legislation that will have a long-lasting negative impact on our health care system and our federal budget. Therefore, repealing Obamacare and replacing it is the right medicine for our nation.

The House will vote to repeal Obamacare for five main reasons: it costs too much; it includes $500 billion dollars in tax increases; it includes Medicare cuts that are harmful to seniors; it puts in jeopardy individuals’ ability to choose their own health care plan; and it uses taxpayer dollars to fund abortions. Repealing Obamacare will provide a clean slate, and give Congress the ability to pass sound health care legislation in a transparent and bipartisan manner. 

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Getting health care right: A second chance (Rep. Paul Gosar)

Tomorrow the House will vote to repeal the onerous health care law. This law represents one of the largest government takeovers of a major sector of the economy—health care. Make no mistake, reforms are needed. But the law passed last year, consisting of 2,200 pages that went unread by many members of Congress, creates far more problems than it tried to solve.

As a new Member of Congress, I take this vote very seriously. I am a dentist. My background as a health care provider and small business owner has compelled me to view this law closely and with the first hand knowledge I gained in this area. When I look at a bill, or now, a law that is under review, I look at it as any other person from Main Street America would. First and foremost, we should ask: does this law help the good people of Arizona’s First Congressional District? Second, is it good for the country? The reason I plan on voting for repeal is that the answer to both questions is a resounding “no.” 

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Health care repeal will hurt the middle class (Rep. Rosa DeLauro)

With this law, we have taken the power from the insurance companies, and given it back to patients and their doctors. We have expanded access to coverage, ensured people can get the care they need, and lowered costs for everybody. These reforms give Americans the freedom to make their own health care decisions, while creating jobs and reducing the deficit. And yet, the new Republican House has made repealing this law its first priority, even though we know for a fact that repeal will add significantly to the deficit and severely hurt job creation, the middle class, and America. 

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Focus on prevention and wellness to decrease health care costs

Before getting too deep into political jockeying over the new health care law, America’s 112th Congress is due for a reminder of the fiscal wisdom and public health benefits of disease prevention. All told, preventing chronic disease forthright is the sure-fire way to bring down the long-term cost of health care.

According to the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, since the late 1980s, roughly two-thirds of the jump in our health care spending has been due to the increased prevalence of treated chronic disease. Chronic diseases account for about 75 percent of the roughly $2 trillion we spend annually on medical care in the United States. In fact, about half of all Americans already have one or more chronic diseases, which can be blamed, in large measure, on four modifiable behaviors: (1) physical inactivity, (2) bad eating habits, (3) tobacco, and (4) too much alcohol. 

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Time to inoculate ourselves from ObamaCare

The Tea Party became the largest and fastest-growing grassroots movement in American history in large part due to the overwhelming public opposition to ObamaCare.  ObamaCare and other reckless and ineffective stimulus spending gave many Americans reason to join the tea party movement and experience their first taste of political activism. And thanks to ObamaCare, the movement is still growing.

That is why it is especially amusing to see liberal media pundits and other Democrats employing their most bizarre contortions and spin cycles to decouple the results of the November elections from ObamaCare.  Their efforts aren’t working because they aren’t based on the truth.

Their current mantra is that the vote to repeal ObamaCare is mere symbolism, a waste of Congressional time and little more than conservative grandstanding.  But this won’t work either, because it flies in the face of one fundamental truth: 

The November election was an undeniable referendum on ObamaCare, and it failed massively!

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Vote 'NO' on $4 billion small business tax increase

The first vote of the new U.S. House will be to increase taxes on small businesses.   That’s right.  A $4 billion tax hike on small businesses is exactly what Representatives are supporting if they vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Last year Congress approved $4 billion for health insurance tax credits small businesses could tap into for 2010 taxes if they offered the benefit to their employees.  That figure was Congress’s best estimate of how much each year would be needed under this important ACA effort to make health insurance more affordable.  About four million businesses qualify for the tax credits because they have fewer than 25 employees with average wages below $50,000.

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