Repeal and Replace the new Health Care Law with Common Sense Reform
Health insurance can be out of reach to families who struggle to put a roof over their heads and food on the table. Unfortunately, the new health care law did nothing to lower the cost of health care. Instead, the new law cuts Medicare and increases taxes on small businesses and individuals who can't afford to buy health insurance.
I opposed the new health care law because it cuts $500 billion from Medicare and increases taxes by $500 billion. It also adds to the deficit and creates a new entitlement program at a time when Social Security and Medicare are facing bankruptcy.
The new law was passed without the support of the American people. We need to repeal and replace the bill with common sense reforms and things we can all agree on to increase access to affordable health care:
* Tort reform to end frivolous lawsuits, which would save an estimated $50 billion;
* Association health plans that would allow those that are self-employed or own small businesses to pool together through their professional trade associations to purchase health insurance for themselves and their employees;
* Increased competition by allowing the purchase of health insurance across state lines;
* Coverage for pre-existing conditions; and
* Allowing young adults to remain on their parents' plans until they turn 26.
On November 7, 2009, the House of Representatives, by a vote of 220 to 215, narrowly passed H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act. Congressman Buchanan voted against the Bill for several reasons. The legislation results in a huge bill that will be put on the backs of our seniors and small businesses.
The legislation does nothing to decrease the costs of health care premiums, in fact, it results in a government run health care experiment that will increase families' health care costs, increase the deficit, increase taxes on small businesses and the middle class, and cut Medicare.
Health Care Reform
I think most of us agree that we need health care reform to ensure that Americans get the health care they need, when they need it. I support health care reform that protects the quality of health care for all Americans.
I am strongly opposed to a government takeover of heath care. Health care decisions should be made by doctors, patients and families, not bureaucrats in Washington. One size fits all does not fit all when it comes to heath care. Furthermore, government run health care could result in the rationing of health care. No one should have to wait in line or be denied the treatment they need. This is what is happening in other countries with national health care.
We need more competition among private companies. We also need tax credits so that Americans can choose their own health care plan.
Medical Rights Act
I have co-sponsored legislation to guarantee the rights of patients to control their own health care decisions. The Medical Rights Act would guarantee the rights of patients to control their own health care decisions. It would also guarantee that private health care would not be denied by government restrictions and ban interference with the doctor-patient relationship by protecting the right of Americans to get the care they need when they need it.
Small Business Health Plans
Employer provided group health coverage is the largest source of health insurance, but it is out of reach for many small businesses.
We need small business health plans that would allow those that are self-employed or own small businesses to pool together through their professional trade associations to purchase health insurance for themselves and their employees - just like larger companies do now.
I have proposed legislation that would allow small businesses to form associations and make coverage more affordable by spreading risk among a much larger group, strengthening negotiating power with plans and providers, offering insurance across state lines, and reducing administrative costs.
End Frivolous Lawsuits
We also need to end frivolous lawsuits that increase the cost of health care for all Americans. I have proposed legislation that will help reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits filed by imposing mandatory sanctions against attorneys or parties who file frivolous lawsuits; removing a safe harbor provision that allows plaintiffs and their attorneys to avoid sanctions for frivolous suits by withdrawing them within 21 days, and reducing court-friendly shopping by requiring that plaintiffs in civil tort actions sue only where they live or were injured or where the defendant's principal place of business is located.
The Medicare Trustees have repeatedly warned Congress and the American people that the program must be reformed or future benefits will be threatened. Each year we fail to address this issue, the worse the problem becomes.
In Florida's 13th Congressional District, we have 350,000 senior citizens. Many of them depend on Medicare for their health care coverage. We need Medicare reform to ensure they get the benefits they have been promised and meet the health care needs of future generations.
In the meantime, I have opposed any cuts to Medicare and worked to increase reimbursement rates to prevent doctors from turning patients away.