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Mr. HURT. Mr. Speaker, the repeal of the health care law and beginning the process of replacing it with market-oriented solutions that reduce health care costs are important steps in the right direction for the people of the Fifth District of Virginia and for our Nation as a whole.
Having heard from so many of my constituents on this issue, I believe that it is essential that we repeal the government takeover of health care that raises costs, increases taxes, imposes burdensome mandates on small businesses, and jeopardizes quality medical care for our people.
I rise today to share an example of the real-life implications that the new health care law has had on one doctor in the Fifth District of Virginia.
His story is not unique. No doubt there are many others in central and Southside Virginia, as well as across the Nation, who are dealing with similar, negative ramifications of this law. His story is an important one to tell. It's a story of the hardships this legislation has caused to the people who have dedicated their lives to serving others.
In 1999, this doctor took a huge risk when he decided to sell his home and move to Charlottesville to buy and operate an Urgent Care Center. The challenges he faced in starting up his own practice did not come without sacrifice. It was over a year before he took home his first paycheck. He and his wife lived on savings and retirement money and did not know if their business would make it until 2004, 5 years later. His sacrifice and hard work proved to be a model for success. Now he has over 40,000 charts and 30 employees, and he provides high quality care to more than 16,000 patients. The average charge per patient visit remains low, while the services rendered provide good quality care, proving that health care at the primary level does not have to come with an overly expensive pricetag.
However, this doctor has made it clear in no uncertain terms that the fear and uncertainty regarding the new health care law threatens both the present and future success of his practice. Due to the tax hikes, added regulations and bureaucracy, and overall government intrusion, the doctor is no longer sure he can afford to stay in business, which means over 16,000 patients in the area served by his practice may lose access to this reliable and affordable care.
What a crushing blow to the innovators that are seeking new ways to provide quality medical care to their fellow man. What a crushing blow to the entrepreneurial spirit for those who are seeking to succeed. And what a crushing blow to the very spirit upon which our Nation was founded. This is just one example of why it is critical and necessary to repeal the government takeover of health care.
To ensure that doctors in the Fifth District can keep their doors open and that the people of the Fifth District of Virginia can continue to afford quality health care, it is critical that we find replacement measures that seek to truly keep costs low while removing the government from the patient-doctor relationship.
We have a great deal of work ahead, Mr. Speaker, but I'm committed to continuing to find the health care solutions that are in the best interest of all central and Southside Virginians.