This is a response from Congressman Leonard Lance, of the 7th District of New Jersey, to the passing of the Health Care bill in the House on 21 March 2010.
And here is a letter to one of his constituents. What do you think?
Thank you for contacting me in opposition to the President's health care proposal. I appreciate your taking the time to share your views with me.
On Sunday, March 21 the House of Representatives passed a nearly trillion-dollar health care bill that cuts Medicare, increases taxes and does very little if anything to lower the cost of health care. The bill epitomizes all that is wrong with Washington: higher taxes, deficit spending, more government mandates and an arrogant dismissal of the will of the American people.
I joined nearly three-dozen Democrats and all 177 of my Republican colleagues in opposition to the measure. Specifically, I opposed the health care bill for the following reasons:
Tax Increases: The bill includes $570 billion in new tax increases, including tax increases on New Jersey's small businesses, working families, hospitals, senior citizens and medical device makers.
The sweeping legislation includes $17 billion in new taxes on Americans who do not purchase health insurance and $52 billion in new taxes on employers who do not provide health coverage approved by government bureaucrats.
In fact, there are so many new taxes that federal analysts estimate that up to 16,500 new Internal Revenue Service agents will be needed to collect, examine and audit new tax information mandated on families and small businesses.
At a time when the federal government should be encouraging economic expansion and job growth, this bill will kill jobs.
Critical Cuts to Medicare: The bill slashes more than $500 billion in critical Medicare services, with more than $200 billion cut from the popular Medicare Advantage program enjoyed by nearly 150,000 senior citizens in New Jersey.
Hospitals face cuts of about $112 billion, nursing homes about $15 billion and hospice services nearly $8 billion.
The President's own health analyst concluded these cuts will threaten access to Medicare services and may force health providers to stop accepting Medicare patients altogether.
Deficit Spending: The bill includes $1 trillion in new spending we cannot afford.
The new law adds $662 billion to our already record-high $13 trillion debt, creating a new entitlement spending program that, according to some experts, will cost $2.5 trillion once fully implemented.
What's more, the bill is chock full of accounting gimmickry. For example, the total cost of the legislation does not include the estimated $300 billion for the so-called "doctor fix" to ensure that senior citizens have access to physicians through Medicare.
According to the CBO, the House-passed bill combined with the increase in Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors would in reality increase federal deficits by at least $59 billion, and more likely $260 billion, over the next decade.
Backroom Deals: The House-passed bill is laden with pork, special deals and give-aways.
The infamous "Cornhusker Kickback" got "fixed" by expanding it to every state. The "Louisiana Purchase" sends an extra $300 million in extra Medicaid payments to the Bayou State. Tennessee will receive almost $100 million in extra aid. The "Connecticut deal" will give that state $100 million for a single hospital. The list goes on and on. It is no wonder the American people believe, accurately, that Washington is broken.
In conclusion, I pledge to work to repeal this misguided and unaffordable measure and replace it with common-sense health care solutions that lower the cost of health insurance -- not expand the size of government.
These include allowing insurance to be sold across state lines, establishing high-risk insurance pools, limiting frivolous lawsuits, allowing younger adults to stay on their parents' policy and prohibiting insurance companies from discriminating on the basis of pre-existing conditions.
These are real reforms that lower health care costs without higher taxes, cuts to Medicare or growing government: the kind of fiscally responsible health care reform the American people deserve.
Once again, thank you for contacting me. If you would like to receive legislative updates, please visit my website at lance.house.gov and register for my "E-Newsletter." As always if you have any addition comment or questions please telephone my Washington office at (202) 225-5361.
Best personal wishes.
Member of Congress
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