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Goodlatte Statement In Oppostion To Government Takeover Of Health Care

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Congressman Bob Goodlatte tonight voted against H.R. 3590, the Senate-passed health care takeover. Congressman Bob Goodlatte issued the following statement in response to passage of this misguided bill:

"For nearly a year now the American people have rejected the Democrats' health care proposals. They have sent letters and e-mails, made phone calls, attended town hall meetings and come to Washington to rally at the Capitol. Their message has been simple and consistent: We don't want a government takeover of our health care system.

With complete and total disregard for the will of the American people, House Democrats pushed through their health care legislation, which is defined by federal regulations, mandates, a myriad of new big government programs, and a significant increase in federal spending and debt at a cost to our country too high to bear. This legislation, which I voted against, gives Washington bureaucrats ultimate control over what is best for you and your family -- deciding when and what treatment you can receive.

I know Americans are frustrated by rising health care costs, and that is why we in Congress must work in a bipartisan way to cut health insurance costs and make health care better, more available, and more affordable for all Americans. Unfortunately, the only thing bipartisan about the health care bill that passed the House tonight is the strong bipartisan opposition to the bill. It raises taxes, raises health care costs, adds to our national debt, and hurts America's seniors, families and small businesses.

Specifically, the Democrats' health care bill includes $569 billion in new taxes and over a trillion dollars in new government spending. This includes $52 billion in new taxes on employers, including small businesses, that cannot afford to provide health coverage or that don't offer coverage. The effect of this type of tax, similar to a payroll tax increase, would ultimately fall squarely on workers in the form of lower wages or reduced employment. Additionally, the legislation includes $17 billion in new taxes on Americans who do not comply with the individual insurance mandate which is sure to further stifle economic growth.

Additionally, the Democrats' health care bill includes $523 billion in Medicare cuts, including $200 billion in cuts to the popular Medicare Advantage program which will hurt millions of seniors.

It's your job to make health care decisions for your family. The government's job is to ensure you have access to affordable alternatives and then get out of the way. That is why I strongly support the Republican alternative that would empower patients with choices, make high quality coverage more affordable, and protect and preserve the doctor-patient relationship. Unlike the Democrats' plan, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has confirmed that the plan offered by House Republicans will lower premiums by up to 10 percent and reduce the deficit by $68 billion over 10 years, all without imposing tax increases on families and small businesses and while improving the quality of your health care. It allows for the purchase of health insurance across state lines, allows individuals and small businesses to join large pools to get more competitive rates, provides tort reform to cut down the high cost of defensive medicine, allows full tax deductibility of health insurance premiums, portability of health insurance and protection against pre-existing condition exclusions. This legislation, that I support, focuses on strategies that help Americans obtain the best quality health care at the least cost, and ensures that the government fosters increased access to quality care based on individual choice, not by taking away choices from people on the grounds that government knows best."

H.R. 3590, the Senate-passed health care legislation, passed the House of Representatives on Sunday, March 21, 2010 by a vote of 219-212.


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