The House passed H.R. 3590, the health care bill by a vote of 219-212, and H.R. 4872, the House reconciliation bill, which makes changes to the underlying legislation by a vote of 220-211. Royce voted against both bills. The legislation now goes back to the Senate.
"We are faced with trillion dollar deficits for years to come. Now is not the time to create a $2 trillion entitlement. This bill raises taxes and cuts Medicare," said Royce.
The bill increases taxes by $569.2 billion over ten years, which will harm small businesses, middle-class families, and our economy. It also includes $528.5 billion in cuts to Medicare, cutting benefits and raising premiums on seniors.
The employer mandate imposes a new tax on business, which will destroy current and new jobs during a time when millions of Americans are already unemployed.
"It is a huge step toward a Washington-controlled healthcare system that rations care, limits choice, and reduces quality, innovation, and competition," Royce said. "Just look at the sweeping new powers given to enforce the mandates. Along with roughly 17,000 new IRS agents to keep track of coverage requirements, payments and penalties, the bill creates 159 new government agencies to regulate insurance and medical care for Americans."
Royce is also concerned that the bill fails to adequately address citizen verification for individuals applying for affordability subsidies, Medicaid, and high risk pools. Taxpayers will be subsidizing health care benefits for illegal immigrants.
This massive new entitlement program will cost future generations dearly. Much of this revenue will be generated through tax hikes and fees.
Congress should have focused on alternatives that actually lower costs and avoid putting our country on a path toward bankruptcy. Royce supports three simple, low cost solutions to reform our health care system. Any reform effort must include tort reform to rein in junk lawsuits that make the cost of healthcare skyrocket. Royce wants to allow small business and individuals to purchase health care across state lines and access one broad national market. Small businesses should be allowed to band together to purchase health care for their employees at a more affordable price, just as large corporations and unions do.