Congressman Parker Griffith addressed President Obama's endorsement of a controversial legislative tactic known as reconciliation to pass a government-takeover of health care.
The reconciliation approach denies Senate Republicans the right to kill the bill by stalling with a filibuster. The House and the Senate would then use reconciliation to pass a set of fixes to the bill, to satisfy the demands of lawmakers in the House. By definition, reconciliation limits debate and amendment, and therefore favors the majority party.
"The American public has said for the past year that this health care bill is not what they want," said Dr. Griffith. "Public opinion polls demonstrate that Americans do not want a government takeover of health care. A recent CNN reported that 73 percent of Americans want Congress to start over and drop health care entirely for now. In my own town halls and meetings I have conducted in north Alabama, I talked with doctors, nurses, business owners and consumers who all expressed opposition to a government take-over of our health care system. Yet, we have a President that seems determined to disregard what the American public wants in order to push through his agenda.
"This $1 Trillion government-takeover health care bill will place a financial burden on our future generations while not providing this generation with a quality health care plan. There is no doubt that our health care system needs to be reformed. Our system faces the challenges of high cost of care and limited access. We should scrap the bill and begin again with common-sense solutions the American people support."
In his urgings, the President said he did not "see how another year of negotiations would help". Dr. Griffith agreed, saying, "another year will do nothing, we need to scrap this bill now."
Dr. Griffith, a physician who spent 30 years treating patients across north Alabama, served as a member of Leader John Boehner's Truth Squad for last week's bipartisan health care summit.
He voted against the Affordable Health Care for America Act, H.R. 3962, which passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 220-215 on November 7, 2009. He opposed the legislation due to the bill's long-term cost, the presence of a government-run public option, the possible elimination of Alabama's Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and the lack of focus the legislation had on addressing the nation's growing problem with physician shortage.