Delivering on a promise, Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (CA-45), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, voted today to repeal the federal government's takeover of health care and vowed to try and replace it with common-sense reforms which respect the doctor-patient relationship, improve access to health care without raising taxes and achieve cost savings by expanding consumer choices in the insurance marketplace.
"When it comes to health care, Americans want advice from their doctor -- not mandates from Washington," said Bono Mack. "Everyone in America deserves access to high-quality, affordable health care. But no one deserves being told, "sign up for insurance coverage or else'. That's not the way we do things in America. It's time to start over. Let's take the best ideas of both parties and do what's best for patients. Let's give them the kind of common-sense reforms that enjoy wide-spread support in California and across the nation."
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the law passed last year will increase health insurance premiums by as much as 10 to 13 percent. " Let's take the best ideas of both Republicans and Democrats. We all agree: no one should be denied insurance because of a pre-existing condition, and our children should be able to stay on the family's insurance plan until age 26," Bono Mack continued. "Working together, we can improve access to health care and contain costs without resorting to $570 billion in new taxes."
Congresswoman Bono-Mack went on to say that some common-sense reforms could be enacted quickly with bipartisan support. They include:
* Enacting tort reform or medical liability reform. By simply reducing the cost of defensive medicine, Americans can save billions of dollars a year.
* Allowing interstate competition. "Why shouldn't insurance companies be allowed to compete across state lines? Let consumers and patients make the ultimate decision about their coverage needs," Bono Mack continued.
* Approving new tax benefits for individuals and small businesses. Provide Americans with incentives, rather than penalties and mandates which will cost jobs and depress wages.
* Making small players big players. Through Associated Health Plans, there are creative ways for small businesses to pool their purchasing power to enjoy some of the advantages that large employers have in today's marketplace.
* Thinking outside the box. "We should encourage and expand innovative programs--such as high risk pools, small business health plans and additional purchasing agreements. Consumers want choices," Bono Mack added.
* Creating more transparency. Today, billions of dollars are wasted on things like false medical billing claims. Compounding this problem, doctors are often unable to even tell patients how much services will cost because of bureaucratic red tape and a lack of transparency in pricing. Bono Mack says she wants to give patients the ability to do "comparison shopping."
"Today's vote is the first step in our commitment to reduce the role of big government in our lives. We can improve access to health care and reduce costs without resorting to new taxes, costly regulations and unfair mandates. But any real reform must start with respecting the doctor-patient relationship."