Today marks the second anniversary of President Obama signing the government takeover of health care into law. Drafted behind closed doors and forced through Congress without revealing its full contents, ObamaCare leaves the American people with a long list of broken promises.
Over the past two years, much more has become known about the law's devastating effects. These have unfortunately left Americans with increased health care costs, fewer choices, government interference in the physician-patient relationship, and unsustainable cuts to Medicare. To make matters worse, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently reported that the law will cost more than originally anticipated and force millions off of their preferred, employer-provided insurance.
This week, the House passed the Protecting Access to Healthcare Act, which, among other things, will repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) created under the health care law. IPAB is a board of 15 unelected bureaucrats that will be empowered to make cuts to Medicare with no oversight or transparency to those it will impact or any branch of government.This unaccountable board will not only jeopardize access, choice and coverage of quality health care for our nation's seniors, but will also increase health costs and shift the burden onto the private sector.
House Republicans have now voted 26 times to defund, dismantle, or repeal the new health care law, and we will not give up the fight until it is repealed in full. I will continue to stand up for our nation's seniors, families and small businesses to address the challenges facing our health care system with solutions that empower patients -- not Washington bureaucrats -- and ensure access to affordable and quality health care.
Dent-Sessions Amendment to PATH Act
On Thursday, the House passed my amendment with Congressman Charlie Dent (R-PA) to the PATH Act, which addresses the ongoing crisis facing our emergency room departments and offers liability protection to physicians who perform the mandated crucial care to patients in the greatest need.
By law, emergency rooms must treat anyone who needs care regardless of if they have insurance or can afford it. During these increasingly tough economic times, emergency rooms have seen an increase in patients due to the number of unemployed and/or uninsured people needing care. Additionally, since patients are often sicker, have more serious complications and have no pre-existing relationship with the treating physician, hospitals have found it to be increasingly difficult to secure emergency physicians and on-call specialists due to the increased likelihood of litigation.
High quality health care in our nation's emergency rooms is currently being threatened by high costs, overcrowding, and the inherently risky nature of on-call and emergency physician care. Our amendment would deem hospitals, emergency rooms, physicians and physicians groups that provide emergency care to individuals to be employees of the Public Health Service for purposes of any civil action that may arise due to health care items and services provided under the Public Health Service Act.
I am pleased that the House voted to include this common-sense idea in the PATH Act to ensure that the American people receive the high quality care they deserve. The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) released a statement yesterday applauding the amendment that you can view here: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/acep-hails-house-actions-on-liability-reform-and-repeal-of-ipab-2012-03-22.
Congressional Art Competition
Each spring, students from the 32nd District submit their original artwork for consideration in the Congressional High School Art Competition. Known as "An Artistic Discovery," the contest is an annual, nationwide art competition initiated by Members of Congress as students from across the country compete in local art competitions held in their respective districts. More than 200 Congressional offices have participated in the program.
The competition is open to all high school students who live or attend school in the 32nd Congressional District. The Grand Prize Winner will received airline tickets for two to Washington, D.C. to see the unveiling of the artwork, a $200 Savings Bond, and a tour of the Capitol. Additionally, the artwork will be showcased in the corridor leading to the U. S. Capitol building for the next year. Savings Bond awards worth $100 will be awarded to the two Runners Up and the People's Choice Award selections and these works will hand in one of my Congressional offices.
I am pleased to once again host the Congressional High School Art Competition this year to provide an opportunity for our students to showcase their individual talents and receive national recognition. Artwork guidelines, entry forms, and artwork release notices may be accessed on my website, and interested applicants should note that all entry forms from the students' art teachers must be received in my Dallas District Office by Friday, March 30th. For additional information, please contact Sandy Pappas of my Dallas District Office at 972.392.0505.