On Wednesday, January 19, I am proud to say that H.R. 2, the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 245-189. My vote in support of H.R. 2 fulfills a pledge that I made to the people of North Mississippi.
H.R. 2 seeks to repeal Public Law 111-148 (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), as well as the health-care related provisions in Public Law 111-152 (the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010). This legislation was introduced by Representative Eric Cantor (VA-07) on the first day of the 112thCongress, and I added my name as an original cosponsor on January 5.
Our country is currently trying to emerge from a recession and the worst thing we can do is implement a law that - among other things - destroys jobs, raises taxes, pushes added costs to already cash-strapped states by expanding an already unsustainable Medicaid program, and adds burdensome mandates on our small businesses.
I am also afraid that a government takeover of health care will lead our nation to a race of mediocrity. As we Mississippians know, our state has been a proven leader in medical innovations. The University of Mississippi Medical Center was the first to perform a heart transplant, lung transplant and kidney autotransplant. I, myself, am the beneficiary of a medical miracle, corneal transplantation. We owe it to our children, grandchildren and future generations to not be mediocre, but to be exceptional.
This repeal was just the beginning to address this vastly unpopular law. Our health care system is by no means adequate and our goal is to not only repeal, but to replace. Therefore, on Thursday, January 20, the House voted on a resolution that calls for congressional committees to report legislation replacing the job-killing health care law. This resolution also calls for inclusion of a permanent fix to the Medicare physician payment formula in legislation to replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
We need solutions that foster economic growth and private sector job creation by eliminating job-killing policies and regulations. In the coming months, legislation will be brought to the table that lowers health care premiums through increased competition and choice; preserves a patient's ability to keep his or her health plan if he or she likes it; provides people with pre-existing conditions access to affordable health coverage; reforms the medical liability system to reduce unnecessary and wasteful health care spending; increases the number of insured Americans; protects the doctor-patient relationship; provides the States greater flexibility to administer Medicaid programs; expands incentives to encourage personal responsibility for health care coverage and costs; prohibits taxpayer funding of abortions and provide conscience protections for health care providers; eliminates duplicative government programs and wasteful spending; and, does not accelerate the insolvency of entitlement programs or increase the tax burden on Americans.
I agree that improvements need to be made to our system currently in place. However, a solution should be built upon the principle that when individuals -- not the government, insurance companies, or employers -- are given control and ownership, we will achieve full access to coverage and see the entire system move in a more positive, patient-centered direction. The House has taken the first steps towards these goals; now let's see what the Senate and the President do.