Congressman Jim Matheson issued the following statement on his vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act:
"I have voted against the health care bill at every opportunity in the legislative process. Plain and simple, the bill is a flawed effort that fails to address the critical issue of rising health costs. While increased access to health care coverage is an important objective, that goal alone does not provide the reforms that are needed to lower costs and ultimately create a sustainable health care system for all Americans.
After the Supreme Court ruled I noted it was important to the broader discussion on health care reform, that constitutional issues surrounding the Affordable Care Act be resolved. I agree with Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts that it is now the role of Congress to weigh the legislative merits of this law.
During the past two years, our country has gone through one of the most emotional and complicated policy deliberations in recent history. Unfortunately, the economic forecast is no different than when we started the debate. Health care expenditures in America are still projected to climb faster than the overall economy throughout the next decade -- the same trend we have seen for the past 30 years. By 2021, health care will account for nearly a fifth of the economy if action is not taken to curb rising costs. This is an unsustainable trend which threatens our country's fiscal well-being.
There are some provisions in the Affordable Care Act that I favor -- as do a majority of Utahns. These provisions include allowing kids to stay on parents' health insurance until age 26, preventive care like immunizations without copayments and eliminating lifetime caps on insurance coverage. I am encouraged that the private sector is responding to the value people place on these provisions. Several major insurers have said they will keep them going forward.
With the Supreme Court ruling behind us, and as I reflect on my conversations with Utahns, I think about protecting the future of our economy. We must scrap this flawed effort once and for all, start over, and do it right. The goal we all share is bipartisan reform that ensures access to quality care and addresses continued rising costs that affect every Utah family and small business. Without tackling escalating costs, we inevitably face a time where a cost-prohibitive system will be out of reach for average Utahns.
It is time for Congress to repeal this law and replace it with new legislation. As a member of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, I stand ready to work with both parties to achieve bipartisan, sustainable solutions to meet this challenge."