U.S. Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA) today released the following statement after voting against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's healthcare plan.
"If Congress wants to remove fraud and abuse from the healthcare system, it can start by overturning this bill.
"The Congressional Budget Office released an updated analysis of Speaker Pelosi's $1 trillion bill on Saturday. The analysis confirmed that this bill will raise healthcare premiums $2,100 more a year for millions of families than if Speaker Pelosi had left healthcare alone.
"It also confirmed that as many as 9 million people now enrolled in employer-based plans will lose their coverage.
"At a time when our military men and women are fighting terrorists around the world, the national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars urged Congress to vote the bill down because it does not protect veteran healthcare plans.
"At a time when unemployment has hit a record 11.6 percent in Ventura County and 10.4 percent in Santa Barbara County, Speaker Pelosi's bill adds $569.2 billion of additional taxes onto the backs of American families and $52 billion on struggling employers.
"It hurts seniors with $200 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage and raids Medicare and Social Security to fund the new mandate and hide the true cost of the bill.
"This bill must be overturned before the bulk of its provisions take effect in 2014. I support real reform that reduces premiums, reduces government spending and protects the doctor-patient relationship.
"I cosponsored a bill that would provide real reform, but Speaker Pelosi will not allow a vote on it. It includes:
* "Allowing small businesses to band together to purchase health insurance for employees and use their combined bargaining power to negotiate better health benefits at lower prices.
* "Reforming medical liability laws to discourage unnecessary and frivolous lawsuits, which only drive up prices for everyone and force doctors to practice defensive medicine.
* "Removing unnecessary regulations that prevent health insurance companies from operating across state lines--which will provide the competition without government-run health care.
* "Establishing high-risk pools to help people with pre-existing conditions find affordable insurance.
"I and many of my colleagues believe issues of portability, increasing costs and rescinding coverage must be addressed. However, in doing so, we must also protect a patient's right to choose the best coverage for him or herself in a vibrant, competitive marketplace, not force Americans into a one-size-fits-all government-run program designed by Speaker Pelosi."