Congressman Lamar Smith issued the following statement today regarding President Obama's so-called "health care summit" scheduled for Thursday:
"This week, the administration will hold a health care summit. It appears that this is just a photo op and not a real effort to reform health care. For example, the administration has refused to start over on a health care bill with bipartisan input.
"In fact, before the scheduled summit, the administration released its own partisan draft legislation, a bill the president is prepared to ram through Congress without adhering to regular Senate rules and without Republican support. The bill contains the same tax increases, mandated penalties, cuts to Medicare, increases in premiums and a government takeover of health care as that passed by House Democrats earlier this Congress. So I remain skeptical of the administration's intentions.
"With 15 million Americans out of work, the first priority should be to create jobs. A jobs summit before a health care summit would address the real concerns of American families.
"I do support health care reform, but this bill goes far beyond fixing the problems we all know need to be addressed. Any health care legislation should reduce health care costs and ensure that our health care system is more accountable and accessible to patients.
"I supported an alternative plan in the House that would have expanded access to affordable health care coverage for Americans without increasing premiums and taxes or cutting benefits to seniors. It included medical liability reforms modeled after the successful reforms of several states, including Texas, which would save more than $54 billion in unnecessary health care costs."