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Issue Position: Health Care

Issue Position

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Congressman Blackburn sits on the vital Energy and Commerce Committee that oversees health care in the U.S. House, and knows that health care is one of the most pressing fiscal challenges facing Federal and State governments, businesses of all sizes, and the American family.

The most pressing issue before the Energy and Commerce Committee is HR 3200, a bill to reform health care. Congressman Blackburn is concerned that the proposal would amount to a government takeover of the health care industry which accounts for 17% of our GDP and impacts every American.

Congressman Blackburn's concern about HR 3200 comes from Tennessee's own experience with TennCare. TennCare was an early attempt at government-run public option health care. While it promised to save costs and cover more people, TennCare did the opposite. The program cut care and nearly bankrupted Tennessee. Earlier this year, Marsha asked the Health and Human Services Secretary what lessons the Administration had learned from the TennCare experience as they put together their new proposal. Congressman Blackburn remains disatisfied with her answer.

As she examines new health care proposals, Marsha keeps the lessons she learned from TennCare in mind.

Blackburn sees many of the same concerns she held about TennCare in the 1990's cropping up again in the current proposal. This includes powerful new government bureaucrats like the proposed Health Choices Commissioner and 52 other new government run programs and commissions. She is also concerned about the massive government bureaucracy that patients would have to contend with get the care they need. A similar bureaucracy led to rationing of care in Tennessee. Marsha Blackburn doesn't want that for America. We just can't afford to have a bureaucrat in the exam room with you and your doctor.

Congressman Blackburn has pledged not to vote for HR 3200 before she and her constituents have had 72 hours to read the final bill in its entirety online.

Once HR 3200 passed through various committees, it was combined into the nearly two thousand page HR 3962. This bill is twice as long, but still has many of the same problems that HR 3200 does. Instead of empowering health care consumers and bringing the cost of care down, HR 3962 forces health care decision making to Washington.

Health Care Proposals Marsha Supports

H.R. 3200 is not the only health care reform bill in the House of Representatives. Many of Congressman Blackburn's colleagues have written their own, thoughtful, reform proposals that are worthy of House consideration. Most of these proposals address the urgent need for reform without creating a new federal bureaucracy.

Blackburn supports an alternate health care proposal by Rep. John Shadegg of Arizona.. This proposal would give Americans tax incentives to purchase health insurance privately while expanding the pool of groups that can offer health care coverage. By using these market forces to expand health care competition, prices will come down while quality of and access to care will improve.

Blackburn also supports the Republican Study Committee , Rep. Mike Roger's bill that would use market forces to reform health care, and the recently released GOP Alternative.


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