In the dead of night, the Senate voted to advance consideration of their government takeover of health care. This crucial vote means that Senate Democrats have secured the votes they need to pass their health care measure during a final vote scheduled for Christmas Eve but at what cost?
The legislation that is advancing out of the Senate represents the back-room politics that Americans deplore. The legislation contains numerous pay-offs for special interests and certain states represented by Senators who were previously undecided on the bill. These include, but are not limited to, federal funding for Medicaid expansion in Nebraska, Vermont, and Louisiana and a way for Florida residents to be grandfathered out of the Medicare Advantage cuts. The legislation also contains $100 million earmark for an unnamed "Health Care Facility" at a public research university.
"I would ask Virginia's two United States Senators how they can cast a vote that will force Virginia taxpayers to foot the bill for these sweetheart deals in other states." said Goodlatte. "Partisan back-room deals, in the dead of night are not the kind of change that Americans have demanded from their elected officials. Had Democrats reached across the aisle to work with Republicans in a bipartisan fashion to enact real health care reform, it would not have been necessary to buy the final votes needed to pass the Senate bill."
The 2,700 page bill that the Senate is set to vote on is defined by a government takeover of our nation's health care system and will cost the American people $2.5 trillion. The legislation will place massive new restrictions on insurance, with the government micromanaging the care that Americans can receive. Much like the plan considered by the House of Representatives that Congressman Goodlatte voted against, the Senate plan is defined by a Washington takeover of our health care system --one defined by increased federal regulations, mandates, and a myriad of new government agencies.
"The overwhelming majority of the folks I have spoken to about health care reform vehemently oppose a government takeover of our health care system as defined by the Senate plan" Rep. Goodlatte said. "The last thing Virginians want to wake up to find on Christmas morning is that the Senate has voted for Washington bureaucrats, not their family doctors, to make health care decisions for their family."
In addition to micromanaging care by Washington, this legislation contains $518.5 billion in new taxes. This includes taxes on medical devices, Medicare, and some health insurance plans, all while dramatically cutting Medicare for our nation's seniors by $470 billion. Instead of improving access to quality care, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has stated that up to 10 million people will lose their current coverage under this legislation.
"While we can all agree that our health care system needs reform, this legislation is not true health care reform" said Congressman Goodlatte. "I urge the members of the Senate to reject this legislation so that we can begin work on true health care reform, legislation that will empower patients with choices, make high quality coverage more affordable, and protect and preserve the doctor-patient relationship."