Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) released the following statement on his vote against the government takeover of healthcare:
"This bill costs too much and puts too much government between people and their health care. This bill doesn't reign in junk lawsuits nor reduce premium costs. Real health care reform would make premiums more affordable, allow small businesses to group up, and make coverage more accessible, all without a government takeover or new taxes," Rep. Greg Walden said. "Speaker Pelosi wrote this bill behind closed doors and cut sweetheart deals to get votes."
The bill levies $569 billion in new taxes, spends $1.2 trillion, cuts over $500 billion from Medicare -- including $202 billion in cuts from Medicare Advantage -- threatening the health care coverage of 38,000 seniors in Oregon's Second Congressional District. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, four million Americans can expect to lose their current coverage because of this plan, and the White House's own economic formulas show that 5 million American jobs could be lost.
"Only in Washington, D.C. can they spend $1 trillion, cut Medicare by $500 billion, and claim they're going to reduce the deficit," Rep. Greg Walden said.
Federal government programs don't have a good history of coming in under budget: Medicare Part A ran 700 percent over budget, and Medicare Part B a whopping 4300 percent over.
In order to help pay for this new government entitlement, the bill launches a government takeover of student higher education loans that will eliminate the 2,000 choices students have today from which to borrow and threaten 31,000 private sector jobs that work in that industry.
"Finally, I bet taxpayers would be surprised to learn that the IRS will be charged with enforcing the mandate to purchase health insurance," Rep. Greg Walden said. "The IRS will need up to $10 billion and 16,500 additional auditors, agents, and other employees to investigate and collect billions in new taxes from Americans."
"They should have scrapped this flawed bill and started over on a bipartisan plan that makes the reforms we need without jeopardizing the quality care millions of Americans depend on today," Rep. Greg Walden said.
Representative Greg Walden is the House Republican Leadership Chairman and represents Oregon's Second Congressional District, which is comprised of 20 counties in eastern, southern, and central Oregon.