U.S. Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) today issued the following statement prior to voting NO on the healthcare reform bill:
"Today's vote is historic in that it is a missed opportunity to truly reign in health insurance costs, increase quality of care, and really improve the healthcare system for countless Americans.
"President Obama and the Congress could have and should have crafted bipartisan solutions to make healthcare more affordable and more accessible for everyone. We could have and should have already enacted common-sense policies such as allowing insurance to be bought across state lines, repealing the anti-trust exemption for insurance companies, medical malpractice reform, and removing restrictions on coverage for those with preexisting conditions. The Democrat leadership made the calculated decision against this approach and thus, we have now arrived at this severely-flawed healthcare bill before us today.
"Regrettably, this bill takes away the choice for patients and doctors to decide the best course of treatment, while empowering more than 100 new bureaucracies and an unelected, unaccountable "health czar.' This bill takes away the choice of individuals to decide if they even want health insurance coverage, while empowering the IRS to penalize and prosecute those who refuse. This is the absolutely wrong approach to our nation's healthcare policy.
"After a year of national debate, town hall meetings and public theatre disguising as bipartisan outreach, this final legislation continues the same egregious provisions that South Jersey residents and the American people have long rejected. I cannot ignore the legitimate concerns of our healthcare providers; the negative impact to existing healthcare programs for our service members and veterans; the over $500 billion in cuts to Medicare which threaten our seniors; or the over $560 billion in tax increases on struggling small businesses and cash-strapped families. I cannot and do not support this bill."
Note: Congressman LoBiondo has always paid for his own healthcare insurance, and has never accepted the taxpayer-funded plan offered to Members of Congress.