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McKeon rips retooled health care reform bill

Posted: October 29, 2009 5:21 p.m.
Updated: October 29, 2009 5:21 p.m.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-Santa Clarita), member of the House Health Care Solutions Group, today issued the following statement after House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled the latest version of the Democrat health care plan for a government-run system:

"I'm shocked, but not surprised that Speaker Pelosi announced formal plans for a government takeover of America's health care system, despite overwhelming opposition by the citizens across the country.

"The ‘People's House' has always been a forum where (representatives) listen to their constituents. Why now does Speaker Pelosi believe it's okay to exclude the voices of a majority of Americans?

"Months ago, Pelosi presented a 1,040 page bill which was then adamantly protested against throughout the month of August. Today, Pelosi presented a bill with all the same basic tenets still included, but now the bill is close to 2,000 pages and includes the word ‘shall' 3,425 times, which translates to 3,425 directives from the federal government on the American people.

"Besides the legislation being crafted in secret behind closed doors, it includes some frightening components, such as a $500 billion cut to Medicare. This means our seniors who spent their lives working would be denied the health coverage they anticipated and deserve.

"The bill includes individual mandates on those who do not purchase ‘acceptable health care coverage,' raises taxes on middle income families, and offers no protections for small businesses from the eight percent ‘pay or play' employer mandate.

" Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi's health care proposal fails to offer responsible reform to solve the nation's health care challenges, but instead is nothing more than a partisan power grab."

Specific items within the latest Democrat health care proposal include:

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

NOTE: Republicans have better solutions to lower health care costs and improve access to quality, affordable coverage. For more information, visit


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