Congressman Dave Reichert today issued the following statement on the Senate decision to advance debate on health care overhaul legislation:
"As our economy continues to struggle and families are hurting, I am disappointed that the Senate has voted to move forward with a proposed overhaul to health care that rings in at more than $2.5 trillion, will cost even more jobs, and raises taxes on families, small businesses, and seniors," Reichert said. "Even more disturbing is the freedom this legislation takes away from every single American. We must work together on real solutions that begin to bring down the cost of health care and deliver it to those who need it most, and as this bill heads to a final vote in the Senate and then to a closed-door conference committee, I'll continue fighting for the solutions seniors, families, and businesses need. This bill is the wrong answer to the challenges we face, and with each day that passes it becomes clearer that this is also the wrong time to saddle our families, small businesses, and future generations with such a heavy burden.
"With unemployment hovering at 10 percent, it is high time for Congress to refocus its priorities," Reichert continued. "Instead of passing this misguided bill that threatens our freedoms, Congress should be doing everything within its power to get us back on a path to stability and recovery. That includes implementing broad-based tax relief, effective, targeted infrastructure spending, creating a culture of innovation for small and large businesses, and opening new markets to trade. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to shelf this bill and turn to address our economic crisis. The future well-being of every American depends on it."
On November 7, Reichert opposed the House version of health care overhaul legislation. To address concerns of job losses associated with the House-passed bill, he 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 also supported alternative legislation that focused 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.
Reichert has long been an outspoken advocate of measures proven to stimulate the economy, including tax incentives, growing jobs and exports by enacting free trade agreements, and fiscal responsibility that holds federal spending to sustainable levels. Earlier this year, he introduced H.R. 4328, the Reclaiming Bailout Funds for Taxpayers Act, which works to reclaim bailout money on behalf of taxpayers, calling for unused funds to be returned and to pay down the deficit.
For more information on Congressman Reichert's solutions for health care, including his work during the House Ways and Means Committee debate on this health care legislation, visit http://reichert.house.gov/HealthCare.