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Mr. POSEY. Madam Speaker, I rise to express my support for the bill before us today that would repeal the health care law. The new health care law is unworkable, unaffordable, compromises the doctor-patient relationship, and undermines individual liberty and personal freedom. It was for these reasons and others that I opposed the bill two years ago.
Let's remember that this health care law was drafted behind closed doors and the American people were told by congressional leaders at the time that Congress had to pass it so that the American people could see what was in the 2,000-page bill. Americans have begun to see more of what is in the bill, and according to the latest polls most Americans want the law repealed. Dozens of states, including Florida, have indicated that they will do what the Supreme Court has said they can do, and that is to refuse to implement key components of the law.
For America's senior citizens there are key provisions of this law that are of great concern. The Congressional Budget Office's March 1, 2010 analysis concluded that the health care law cuts Medicare spending by at least $500 billion. It also leaves in place the flawed Medicare physician payment system that threatens senior's access to physicians as it allows a 33% reimbursement cut to take effect on December 31, 2012. This will harm seniors' access to medical care.
The new health care law makes deep cuts to Medicare Advantage plans, which will result in millions of seniors' losing their MA health plans. In fact, millions of seniors' were scheduled to lose their MA plans on December 31, 2012, except that the Administration ``found'' money to plug the hole for one year so that seniors would not receive a letter two months from now telling them that their MA health plan would no longer be available to them. Seniors are also very concerned about the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which has broad unbridled authority to unilaterally eliminate Medicare benefits. IPAB must be repealed.
Americans were promised that they would be able to keep their current health care plan, but millions of Americans would have already lost their plan had a temporary waiver not been granted to simply delay their loss until next year. Millions more will lose their current coverage and be forced into government directed health care in 2014 if this law is not repealed.
Americans were told that the law would save money and would ``only'' cost $938 billion. However, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently raised the 10-year cost of the law to $1.8 trillion. The United States has a national debt of over $16 trillion and we simply cannot afford the new law, as it will continue to saddle future generations of Americans with debt they cannot possibly repay.
We were promised the health care law would ``lower your premiums by $2,500 per family'' by the end of 2012. But even the Kaiser Family Foundation's 2011 Annual Health Benefits Survey found that premiums increased by over $1,200 in just the first year since the law's passage and they expect premiums to continue climbing.
We do not need the health care law's 159 new federal agencies and boards that are being created to stand between you and your doctor. Twelve of the nearly two dozen new taxes included in the law will specifically increase taxes on those making less than $250,000 a year. These new taxes will not make health care any cheaper, but will further add to the tax burden that is straining family budgets and hampering the ability of small businesses to create jobs.
While I believe that there are shortcomings in our health care system, this health care law was the wrong prescription, and it is for that reason it should be repealed and replaced with a plan based on individual choice, personal liberty and economic freedom.
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