Congressman Dave Reichert (WA-08) today voted against a health care overhaul that would implement a government-run health plan estimated to cost more than $1.3 trillion, while drastically slashing Medicare benefits, forcing tax increases on millions of Americans and small businesses, and also threatening to take away their current health plans. The measure narrowly passed the House by a vote of 220-215.
"We heard yesterday's announcement that unemployment eclipsed 10 percent, yet instead of focusing on measures to put Americans back to work, today the House passed a health care overhaul that will cost more jobs, raises taxes on families, small businesses, and seniors, and takes away freedoms," said Reichert. "This bill permits government interference in patients' health decisions and requires every American to purchase a government-approved health plan, pay a fine, or go to jail. We must work together on real solutions that begin to bring down the cost of health care and bring it to those who need it most."
Prior to passage, Congressman Reichert helped lead the fight to recoup cuts to Medicare benefits and enact true medical liability reform.
"Tonight, in the last chance to amend the bill, I was proud to fight for our seniors. I am disappointed that the House rejected the measure that would protect seniors from drastic cuts to Medicare and stop expensive lawsuits that increase the cost of health care for every American. It's my hope that Congress shelves this bill and instead focuses on bipartisan solutions like new tax assistance, enacting real medical liability reform, and allowing people to buy insurance across state lines to make health care more affordable and accessible for American families."
To address concerns of job losses associated with the bill, Reichert again offered an amendment to exempt small businesses from the bill's proposed penalty tax should it cause them to freeze hiring, cut pay, or order layoffs. The amendment was not permitted to be considered.
Reichert supported alternative legislation today that focuses on lowering the cost of health care premiums for families and small businesses, increasing access to affordable, high-quality care, and promoting healthier lifestyles -- without adding to the national debt.