Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) today made the following statement on the House floor before the vote on H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:
Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks against this flawed health care bill.
I do not question the need for Congress to find a way for the millions of Americans without health insurance to be assured of quality, affordable health care. The majority of my constituents in the 10th District of Virginia have made clear that they want an open and transparent process in which Republicans and Democrats work together to pass responsible health care reform that lowers costs and offers greater access to affordable health care.
They told me that they don't want more government spending. They don't want government-run health care. They don't want a plan that hurts America's seniors, families or small businesses. What they do want is a plan that fixes what's broken and keeps what's working without adding billions of dollars to an already ballooning deficit.
I cannot support today's bill because it will raise over $500 billion in new taxes during a recession and times of high unemployment. This will especially hit small business employers at a time when the federal government should be assisting in job creation, not raising taxes.
This legislation cuts billions of dollars from Medicare, a program that our seniors rely on.
It requires individuals to purchase health insurance. If you don't purchase health insurance, the government will fine you a minimum fine of $750, up to the maximum penalty of 2 percent of your income. This provision has drawn the attention of the citizens of Virginia, with the Virginia General Assembly, in a bipartisan vote, becoming the first legislature in the nation to pass legislation opposing this mandate.
This bill mandates billions of dollars in additional Medicaid spending in unfunded mandates for cash-strapped states.
It breaks a promise to members of our nation's armed services, their families, veterans, and employees, with its failure to protect the military's TRICARE system -- health care programs provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This means that, under this legislation, unless an individual has TRICARE for Life, additional health insurance would have to be purchased.
Madam Speaker, I am committed to working with my colleagues to pass real health care reform in a cost effective manner. This legislation fails that test.