Bob Latta on healthcare

As Congress begins its August district work period, the House of Representatives continues to debate the health care proposal introduced by the House Democrat Leadership. H.R. 3200 is a massive overhaul of our nation's health care system that will put the federal government in control of the health care of millions of Americans. Even though the House of Representatives will not vote on the reform until September or later, President Obama and Congressional Democrats are trying to force this bill through Congress at breakneck speed, and continue to disregard the large number of Americans opposed to this legislation. In the House, Speaker Pelosi has shut out minority Republicans from having any input. I continue to hear disappointment from my constituents in the Fifth District on the speed at which this bill is moving through Congress. According to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, by a margin of 2:1, Americans think that a government takeover of health care would be a "bad thing."

While negotiations continue on this legislation, we do know for a fact that whatever plan is approved by the Congressional Democrat Leadership, it will not be inexpensive. Thus far, this legislation is estimated to cost over $1.28 trillion in new federal spending over the next ten years, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. In order to pay for this plan, the House Democrat plan creates a new "surtax" that will amount to a tax hike of $544 billion over the next ten years. This new "surtax" will raise rates by 2 percent on individuals with incomes between $350,000 and $500,000, 3 percent on individuals with incomes between $500,000 and $1,000,000, and 5.4 percent for individuals with incomes over $1 million. As more than half of all high-income filers are small businesses, this will directly impact job growth and creation, further hindering the economic growth small businesses create in the United States. President Obama's Chief Economic Advisor, Dr. Christina Romer, estimates that this small business tax would eliminate over 4 million jobs nationwide. Ohio is suffering with an unemployment rate over 11%, and with a national unemployment rate approaching 10%, we simply cannot afford to lose more jobs.

In addition to the flaws behind the funding mechanism for this legislation, I believe the health care policy itself will do more harm than good to our nations' health care system. The Lewin Group, a nonpartisan health econometrics firm, estimates that two out of three workers will lose their current coverage, including over 114 million people who receive health benefits through their employer or other current coverage. Additionally, over 8 million Health Savings Accounts will not be deemed "acceptable coverage" under the Democrats plan, forcing those people into the government plan. I believe people should
have the choice to keep their own insurance, or Health Savings Accounts, if they are satisfied with their coverage and not be subjected to government intrusion into their personal choices. Under the House Democrats health care proposal, this plan would be administered by yet another level of federal bureaucracy in the form of a Health Care
Commissioner who would have unprecedented authority to determine what is acceptable health care coverage for people under the government plan and set all of the rules for what health care coverage must include.

Furthermore, this Health Care Commissioner would determine what treatments patients could receive and not receive, and at what cost. Actions by the Health Care Commissioner would essentially ration health care among individuals under this plan, and lead to gaps in coverage and further regulation on which doctor you could visit and how often you could seek treatment. The last thing patients and doctors need is the
government coming between them and guiding the choices made regarding their personal health care needs and treatment. Senior citizens will be especially hard hit under the House Democrat plan as well. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that provisions in the current plan would lead to a total of $162.2 billion in cuts being taken from Medicare Advantage plans that provide a choice of health care options to
seniors. These harmful and arbitrary cuts could result in Medicare Advantage plans dropping out of the program, harming beneficiary choice and causing millions of seniors to lose their current coverage; other seniors could see premiums rise or additional benefits curtailed.

House Republicans agree that health care reform is one of the most important issues facing our nation and the House Republican Conference wants to be part of the solution. We are committed to making quality health care coverage affordable and accessible for every American, regardless of preexisting health conditions, and allowing those who like
their current health care coverage to keep it. House Republicans support health care reform that puts patients and their health first, and protects the important doctor-patient relationship. Small businesses also need the ability to pool their resources to provide
coverage for their employees, which will not only expand coverage but also lower costs. House Republicans also support the freedom to purchase insurance coverage across state lines. Medical liability reform is another way to lower health care costs and should be included in any package considered by the House.

Simply put, the health care reform package put forth by the Democrat House Leadership will only lead to further government intrusion and bureaucracy, increased costs for all Americans, and rationing of coverage. Congress should focus on legislation that will improve our health care system, not destroy it, as I believe the Democrat package
will do. I oppose any plan that puts Washington bureaucrats between patients and the care they need. I believe that we can reform healthcare without putting medical decisions in the hands of government bureaucrats. We should not trust the future of our health care to this risky experiment.

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Republicans don't negotiate in good faith. All they want to do is weaken the bill and then they'll all vote against it anyway.

I don't even know why the Democrats pretend they exist.

"I don't even know why the Democrats pretend they exist. " it is this type of partisanship that is turning people away from the Dems and the administration. Even with Republicans offering little (and representing the Party of No) they are winning this battle because the Dems want to be the Party of Yes at all costs.

It's quite telling the type of legislation this is when the Dems only need a SIMPLE majority to push it through and can't despite their having a SUPER majority.

MikeyA

Super majority is a myth. Kennedy and Byrd are both our sick and the Blue Dogs (damn conservatives) are determined to see it fail.

Well that means all they need is a simple majority. Even without Kennedy and Byrd they have that.

However the Blue Dogs are not the partisan Dems here.

Americans were mad at Repubs taking liberties with their majority status and now the Dems are doing the same thing. That is why the debate is getting more heated.

MikeyA

Not everyone agrees with the democrat plan. The democrats don't care about the average person.

deere1

Thanks for the good laugh.

This new "surtax" will raise rates by 2 percent on individuals with incomes between $350,000 and $500,000, 3 percent on individuals with incomes between $500,000 and $1,000,000, and 5.4 percent for individuals with incomes over $1 million.
What is wrong with this? The last 8 years they took their windfall and invested in risky real estate investments causing a bubble economy. The tax cuts of the bush reign only increased the deficits because they did not pay for the war they started. America has awoken but all it knows is "the dream" has slipped away who's to blame?

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

What's wrong with it?

IT'S NOT YOUR MONEY!

it's THEFT....

Gimmie gimmie gimmie.....just more class warfare....same playbook...take their money!

christ.... typical collectivist....

Here's your "healthcare"

"Maybe you're better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller." Obama MD.

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

Ah...taking quotes out of text. Typical spin by somone devoid of facts. And since when is progressive taxation theft?

Pink Slip

Here's the Quote IN CONTEXT from the June 24, 2009 PRess Briefing, which you can read here at Whitehouse.gov (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/remarks-by-the-president-in-a...)

THE PRESIDENT: But, look, the first thing for all of us to understand is that we actually have some choices to make about how we want to deal with our own end-of-life care. And that's one of the things, I think, that we can all promote. And this is not a big government program. This is something that each of us individually can do, is to draft and sign a living will so that we're very clear with our doctors about how we want to approach the end of life.

I don't think that we can make judgments based on people's spirit. That would be a pretty subjective decision to be making. I think we have to have rules that say that we are going to provide good, quality care for all people --

Q But the money might never have been there for her (my mother's) pacemaker or for your grandmother's hip replacement.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, and that's absolutely true. And end-of-life care is one of the most difficult, sensitive decisions we're going to have to make. I don't want bureaucracies making those decisions. But understand that those decisions are already being made in one way or another. If they're not being made under Medicare and Medicaid, they're being made by private insurers. We don't always make those decisions explicitly. We often make those decisions by just letting people run out of money or making the deductibles too high or the out-of-pocket expenses so onerous that they just can't afford the care.

And all we're suggesting -- and we're not going to solve every difficult problem in terms of end-of-life care; a lot of that is going to have to be we as a culture and as a society starting to make better decisions within our own families and for ourselves. But what we can do is make sure that at least some of the waste that exists in the system that's not making anybody's mom better, that is loading up on additional tests or additional drugs that the evidence shows is not necessarily going to improve care, that at least we can let doctors know, and your mom know, that you know what, maybe this isn't going to help, maybe you're better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.

And those kinds of decisions between doctors and patients, and making sure that our incentives are not preventing those good decisions and that the doctors and hospitals all are aligned for patient care -- that's something we can achieve. We're not going to solve every single one of these very difficult decisions at end of life, and ultimately that's going to be between physicians and patients. But we can make real progress on this front if we work a little bit harder.

Exactly. He's says those decisions should be between the doctor and patient---not some beaurocrat at a private insurance company

Pink Slip

Lies ...damn lies....and anything Obama says...

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

Pink, these people are divorced from reality.

The Dems will lose senate and house seats. That's just history and I have yet to see data that will tell me otherwise.

That being said. If they want to continue to hold at least a clear majority they should do a few things. First, fire the leadership. Pelosi and Reid could be made the scapegoats for the whole healthcare mess and could save face for the President still leaving them an effective leader as well as save his plummeting approval ratings. Besides Reid is in danger anyway. If he's removed as leader before the election it could save the party a possible embarassing loss (remember Daschle?).

Second, Offer baby-step changes to healthcare. That could not only pass but it could even bring Repubs on-board so the bill is bi-partisan. And again, it saves face for the President.

Third, take your time. They rushed the stimulus, they rushed cap-and-trade, and now they're rushing health care. You still have at least a year until the next election. Don't do too much at once.

Forth, STOP THE PORK! All of these issues have hurt their image with the American people because of one thing, the deficit. The deficit wasn't as big last year and the Repubs lost big because they still didn't do enough to curb pet projects.

These four things could minimize Republican gains to 1 in the Senate and 10 in the house and give Dems another 2 years of full control.

MikeyA

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