Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats unveiled their healthcare reform bill yesterday in front of the U.S. Capitol. While I am trying to get through the bill’s 1,990 pages, I wanted to give you an opportunity to do the same. If you would like to read through this mountain of legislation, click HERE. I have also included key page numbers and provisions that you may want to review at the end of this letter.
There’s also a separate 13 page bill, found HERE, that repeals the sustainable growth rate caps on Medicare spending, better known as the “doc fix.” Because there is no funding to pay for this important $200 billion, the Majority resorted to using the gimmick of packaging this as a bill separate from the larger health care reform bill so that they can CLAIM they are not breaking the President’s promise to not add one dime to our deficit. Furthermore, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has priced these two bills at costing taxpayers more than $1.2 trillion, well over the President’s original target price of $900 billion!
The legislation uses additional gimmicks alleging that hundreds of billions of dollars to pay for this bill will come from eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse, but they cannot identify it specifically or show that that the federal government has ever been capable of eliminating such waste and fraud. If they could, it would have been done long before now. It is a sham. Seniors know that cutting hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare is deadly serious. The ridiculous gimmick of saying that ten years of taxes will pay for the 5-6 years of the Democrat plan is also most disingenuous.
Despite months of tea parties, town halls, and honest feedback from people like you from all over the country, Speaker Pelosi and the Majority Leadership have re-packaged and re-presented a government takeover of healthcare for which most Americans have already overwhelmingly expressed their rejection. This health care bill will raise taxes, raise health care costs, and add to our national debt, significantly hurting America’s seniors, families and small businesses.
Legislation that will literally “transform” the lives of every American (and I believe it will not be in a good way) should neither be crafted behind closed doors, nor should it blatantly ignore the voices of the people whose very lives it will “transform.” Please urge your friends and family to continue to contact their elected leaders in Washington. Demand that Speaker Pelosi immediately drop any plan that lets the government takeover YOUR healthcare decisions and instead allow our many alternative healthcare solutions to be considered so that we can work in a bipartisan effort to give Americans access to affordable, quality healthcare coverage. I look forward to hearing your thoughts as I continue to keep you updated on this critical issue.
With Kindest Regards,
***Reading Guide—Pelosi Health “Reform” Bill ***
In order to assist Members, staff, and interested parties seeking to read and review the health “reform” legislation (H.R. 3962) introduced by House Democrats, the Republican Conference has compiled a list of important page numbers and provisions in Speaker Pelosi’s 1,990-page “Affordable Health Care for America Act:”
■Page 94—Section 202(c) prohibits the sale of private individual health insurance policies, beginning in 2013, forcing individuals to purchase coverage through the federal government
■Page 110—Section 222(e) requires the use of federal dollars to fund abortions through the government-run health plan—and, if the Hyde Amendment were ever not renewed, would require the plan to fund elective abortions
■Page 111—Section 223 establishes a new board of federal bureaucrats (the “Health Benefits Advisory Committee”) to dictate the health plans that all individuals must purchase—and would likely require all Americans to subsidize and purchase plans that cover any abortion
■Page 211—Section 321 establishes a new government-run health plan that, according to non-partisan actuaries at the Lewin Group, would cause as many as 114 million Americans to lose their existing coverage
■Page 225—Section 330 permits—but does not require—Members of Congress to enroll in government-run health care
■Page 255—Section 345 includes language requiring verification of income for individuals wishing to receive federal health care subsidies under the bill—while the bill includes a requirement for applicants to verify their citizenship, it does not include a similar requirement to verify applicants’ identity, thus encouraging identity fraud for undocumented immigrants and others wishing to receive taxpayer-subsidized health benefits
■Page 297—Section 501 imposes a 2.5 percent tax on all individuals who do not purchase “bureaucrat-approved” health insurance—the tax would apply on individuals with incomes under $250,000, thus breaking a central promise of then-Senator Obama’s presidential campaign
■Page 313—Section 512 imposes an 8 percent “tax on jobs” for firms that cannot afford to purchase “bureaucrat-approved” health coverage; according to an analysis by Harvard Professor Kate Baicker, such a tax would place millions “at substantial risk of unemployment”—with minority workers losing their jobs at twice the rate of their white counterparts
■Page 336—Section 551 imposes additional job-killing taxes, in the form of a half-trillion dollar “surcharge,” more than half of which will hit small businesses; according to a model developed by President Obama’s senior economic advisor, such taxes could cost up to 5.5 million jobs
■Page 520—Section 1161 cuts more than $150 billion from Medicare Advantage plans, potentially jeopardizing millions of seniors’ existing coverage
■Page 733—Section 1401 establishes a new Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research; the bill includes no provisions preventing the government-run health plan from using such research to deny access to life-saving treatments on cost grounds, similar to Britain’s National Health Service, which denies patient treatments costing more than £35,000
■Page 1174—Section 1802(b) includes provisions entitled “TAXES ON CERTAIN INSURANCE POLICIES” to fund comparative effectiveness research, breaking Speaker Pelosi’s promise that “We will not be taxing [health] benefits in any bill that passes the House,” and the President’s promise not to raise taxes on families with incomes under $250,000