Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.) issued the following statement Sunday in opposition to the Senate health care bill and the accompanying reconciliation package under consideration before the House of Representatives:
"Our health care system is in need of major reform, but the bill being forced through the House today is not the answer. It puts the federal government between people and their doctors, which will only lead to a rationing of care, all sorts of inefficiencies and waste, and a declining quality of medical care for everyone.
The bill's backers are using every budget gimmick in the book to trick the American people. The Congressional Budget Office has filed a very misleading report attempting to show a cost of less than a trillion dollars. Yet The Weekly Standard Magazine published a report just days ago showing the real cost at more than $2.5 trillion.
The worst of these budget gimmicks is one that applies ten years of tax increases and Medicare cuts to pay for only six years of the bill. The CBO was also told to count phony savings, such as over $400 billion from cutting doctors payments by over 20% and never raising them back up. This will never happen.
Even the highest cost estimates are probably too low. We must remember that Medicare and Medicaid now cost many, many more times than what was predicted at the time they were created.
We had almost no major problems in health care in this Country until the federal government got involved. In the 1960's, health care was cheap and affordable for almost everyone and doctors even made house calls. The federal government then took what was a very minor problem for a few people and turned it into a major problem for almost everyone.
Anything the federal government subsidizes, the costs just explode. There are many things we can do to bring down the cost of health care, but this bill will cause costs to go up even more, and in the long run, it will end up hurting the poor and lower and even middle income people the most."