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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dent Explains Vote to Repeal Health Care Overhaul

Although the promised repeal of Obamacare passed the House yesterday, 245 to 189, nobody expects that to happen. The Senate has promised to never let it see the light f Day, and President Obama would certainly veto the measure. According to the Christian Science Monitor, the real work starts now, as four separate committees study changes in the law. There is hope, however faint, for some bipartisan change.

LV Congressman Charlie Dent explains his vote:

“The most pressing issue facing our health care system is the crisis of cost. When visiting communities in our area, I hear frustration from local residents about rising premiums, the cost of medical services and prescription drugs, and their inability to choose between different insurance plans because the individual market is too expensive. When I meet with employers, particularly small businesses, I find they are struggling to keep up with the escalating cost of employee health care. When I speak with state legislators, they share serious concerns about the growing percentage of state resources dedicated to health care spending. When I analyze our federal budget, I see the dramatic impact of health care entitlement spending.

“Today, I voted to repeal the misguided health care law of 2010, which is seriously flawed in its structure and practical implementation. Tomorrow, I will support a House resolution that directs several committees to produce practical and effective reforms that will lower health care costs, expand access to affordable insurance coverage and foster job growth. I support health care reform and believe all Americans should have access to affordable health insurance. Unfortunately, the legislation enacted last year raises health care costs for most Americans, increases spending by state and federal governments, jeopardizes the coverage of those who are happy with their current plan, and stifles needed economic growth. The law enacted in 2010 is simply unwise and unsustainable.

“Most problematic, the new law will increase health care costs for American families and seniors, whose budgets have been stretched precariously thin by the economic downtown. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the premiums for millions of families will increase by as much as $2,100 by 2016. Under the law, seniors will pay as much as 20 percent more for their Medicare Part D prescription drug premium.

“Many of the law’s strongest supporters in Washington vow it will help reduce our nation’s growing deficit. However, these claims are based on misleading budget gimmicks and deceptive accounting practices. For example, the law imposes 10 years worth of taxes to fund only 6 years of programming. The Office of the Actuary for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) found that health costs will rise by an added $310.8 billion over the next 10 years as a result of the law. Moreover, the CBO’s long-term budget outlook acknowledges that most of the major savings provisions in the law are either “widely expected” to be scaled back or would “be difficult to sustain for a long period.” Rather than reductions, this will naturally lead to significant increases in the federal deficit.

“Under the law, access to care will be jeopardized and many Americans who are currently satisfied with their plans will not be able to keep them. The law includes more than $200 billion in cuts to payments for hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and home health agencies. The CMS Actuary estimates those cuts could cause roughly 15 percent of Medicare Part A providers to become unprofitable and drop out of Medicare, 'possibly jeopardizing access to care for beneficiaries.' Over time, the Actuary estimates 40 percent of providers may withdraw from offering services to Medicare enrollees. While nearly 20 million Americans would gain coverage under the Medicaid program, the Actuary cautioned 'it is reasonable to expect that a significant portion of the increased demand for Medicaid would be difficult to meet, particularly over the first few years.' Furthermore, half of all Americans who have insurance through their employer and two-thirds of workers in small businesses will be at risk of losing their current coverage by 2013.

“Finally, the law impedes economic growth. There are more than half a trillion dollars in new taxes included in the statute, many of which will impact small business owners and middle-income households. Specifically, $210 billion in new payroll taxes will reduce investment and hamper growth. Additionally, the law includes a mandate that imposes a penalty on employers that cannot afford to purchase health insurance for their employees, which CBO found will 'cause some employers to respond by hiring fewer low-wage workers.'

“I believe we must replace the misguided policies of the current law with reforms that will address rising health care costs. Specifically, I support medical liability reforms to reduce the practice of defensive medicine. I believe Congress must provide Americans with more options for affordable health coverage, such as low-cost catastrophic plans for younger individuals, patient-driven Health Savings Accounts (HSA), cross state purchasing, and effective high risk pools or reinsurance models as a backstop. We must enact real payment reforms that focus on quality rather than quantity, and provide greater flexibility for employers to reward employees who adopt healthier lifestyles. I also support advancing medical innovation and enhancing health information technology to make care more effective and efficient. Finally, we must aggressively fight waste, fraud and abuse.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues during the 112th Congress to enact these sensible policies that will reduce costs, expand access and support economic growth.”


Anonymous said...

Congress is a bunch of fools and their intervention into Health Care is insane.

I'd trust them if they were like the people 60 years ago who were smart enough to write their own legislation instead or relying on a staff of 20 to create bills they don't even read they introduce to be voted on.

Anonymous said...

I believe that insurance companies have our best interests at heart. There is no doubt they are in the best position to keep government from getting between ourselves and our doctors.

Anonymous said...

Please tell me I did not read the comment at 12:53, it had to be my imagination. Were you part of the group that protested to keep the government out of their medicare.

We as a society are doomed.

Patrick McHenry said...

Bernie -

I commend Dent for his vote.

The Obama/Pelosi Health Care bill is too expensive and the structure it includes is a bureaucratic nightmare.

One has to wonder, however, why Harry Reid won't let it come up for a vote? What is he afraid of - the will of the people?

Anonymous said...

The Republicans policy is NO NO CARE for people with preexisting conditions. NO CARE when you reach lifetime limits.

Instead of attempting to fix what they do not like about Healthcare Reform, they decided to cast a vote that put people on notice.

Have you been denied coverage or told you reached a life time limit? My familiy has. Fortunately for us we are working and have a means to pay.

I do find it ironic that last week, Republicans voted no to reaveal whether or not they would accept their own taxpayer funded healthcare by private insurers (Govt option if you will) before voting to repeal Healthcare Reform. Dent and Gerlach voted No.

At a $174K per year, shouldn't Congress at least pay a premium like the rest of us?

I am still waiting for Dents press release that states that there are no Death Panels in Helathcare reform. He had a chance to do it in one of his townhalls but he simple stated it was understandable that people are upset. How many Americans were formed an opinion based on this misinformation.

I dont think Dent is a bad person, I think his approach to improving the bill is not the best approach.

Anonymous said...

Wow... Charlie gets it!!! Finally a conservative vote by him. The people elected him and the others to stop the continued socialization of this country. Kudos Charlie. Now... next step is to stop the funding of the national health law. The Senate and Executive Branch will never pass this repeal. Now... tie up its funding.

Jon Geeting said...

Amazing. This is a straightforward vote to authorize insurance companies to refuse coverage to people just because they’re in less-than-perfect health.

What happened to repeal and "replace?" Where's the replace? Republicans have no plan for cost control, or covering the 30 million uninsured, or how to cover all the people with preexisting conditions without making premiums skyrocket. '

He's dodging the hard work and tough choices involved in governing by punting it to the committees. Why not just dust off some actual Republican health care ideas that we've been debating for decades? Probably because they're all in ACA. It's not on the level.

Anonymous said...

can someone tell my why the libs posting here believe I am obligated to pay for any aspect of thier health care

Anonymous said...

Mr Geeting, "Replace" is coming.

Anonymous said...

Geeting has a short memory. Luckily, the majority of Americans do not. Rs weren't permitted to offer amendments (medical savings tax breaks, interstate purchasing, etc.) for most of Pelosi's four years.

Rs can't replace it without the same majority that shoved such an unpopular disaster down Americans' throats. Be patient (no pun intended). They're working on that majority. It's a big boondoggle and it will take time to dismantle it properly.

And the way to get it in an effort to finish the job,is to make Ds stand up officially voice their stand on Obamacare for everybody and God to evaluate at the next election. The last election indicates this is a good strategy to get rid of a very bad scheme.

Anonymous said...

“Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) found that health costs will rise by an added $310.8 billion over the next 10 years as a result of the law”

Charlie while that may be true, isn’t that a little misleading? REALLY!

Lets turn the page back and look at what the CMS reported health care costs increase was from 2008 to 2009 Before Health care reform!

• Medicare spending grew 7.9% to $502.3 billion in 2009, or 20 percent of total National Health Expenditure (NHE).
• Medicaid spending grew 9.0% to $373.9 billion in 2009, or 15 percent of total NHE.

If those trends (before reform) were continue over the next 10 years, Medicare spending would increase $493B and Medicad spending would increase $438B.

Just from 2008 to 2009 Medicare and Medicad spening increase $73.3B

So based on CMS report, it appears that the rate of growth is actually reduce because of Healthcare reform.


Anonymous said...

CMS also states that by 2019, health care is projected to account for nearly one of every five U.S. dollars spent, or about 19.6 percent of the gross domestic product, 0.3 percentage points higher than anticipated before health care reform, according to the study. CMS is saying Obamacare will make health care more expensive to the economy at large.

""According to Andrea Sisko, lead author of the study and an economist at CMS, the Affordable Care Act will have "a moderate effect" on healthcare spending growth rates and the healthcare share of the economy.

""But when you peel back the onion and you start looking underneath the surface, you start to see a much more pronounced impact on payers," Sisko said.""

Thanks for playing.

Anonymous said...

"...you start to see a much more pronounced impact on payers,"

Well. Factoring in the law, Americans will spend an average of $13,652 per person a year on health care in 2019, according to the actuary’s office. Without the law, the corresponding number would be $13,387.

So for a difference of ~$300, you get more of an assurance you cannot be denied coverage for pre-existing condition or reach a lifetime limit.

Consider this:
I fill up my car twice a week. Since election day, I figured it cost me $200 more in just 3 months with no value added.

Not a peep in Congress about OPEC.

Anonymous said...

OPEC? Bawhawhawhaw! Obama, Pelosi, and that Reid weirdo inherited $2 gas. They worked on an unpopular healthcare scam and ignored gas as it increased 50%. It will be double by summer. Democrats did nothing. Nothing. Ds still control the government. Rs can't fix it all in a day. Ds never bothered trying. They just put more and more drilling restrictions in place using phony data and killing jobs while skyrocketing gas prices. This is what happens when you leave economics to an administration full of tax cheating lawyers.

Anonymous said...

Interesting enough, the average gas price in October 2008 was $3.15. In November 2008, we had an election and gas dropped to $2.40 during the deepest part of the recession.

Gas dropped again in Dec 2008 but was more or less due to the Recession and bank bailouts. Sending the US into a depression was not in the best interest of OPEC so they lowered prices.

Fourth of July 2010, we had a busy travel weekend, hurricane in the Gulf, well spewing oil in the Gulf, a mortorium on near shore drilling and gas was $2.65

In October 2010, gas was $2.82. We had an election and by December gas was $3.05. Maybe the intial signs that the economy may be improving is cause for OPEC to raise rates.

I assume the health of the economy is a factor, however ironically, elections are smack in the middle of that trend.

Still waiting for that oil revenue to fund the war and rebuilding effort.

Anonymous said...

The insurance lobby spends $1.6 million a day so that people like Dent will say things like this. Look it up.

Anonymous said...

The gas prices are related to emerging markets like India and China. Their growing middle classes are buying cars. Their use of gas will only go up.

Thanks to our patriotic companies moving jobs to those countries they will use more gas and everyone's gas prices go up.
Also it doesn't matter whether we drill offshore or not. You have got to turn off the Faux News sometimes. The Alaskan pipeline resulted in more oil being exported than used domestically. As you like to say. check it out.

There is a growing demand of a limited product. You don't need a GWB MBA to figure that one out.

As to healthcare, other than damn the lawyers (less than .05%), what has the GOP offered of any substance? We will continue to be raped and abused by Insurance Companies. They are in business to make money not provide care. By the way why does a Health Insurance Company need to pay to name a baseball field?

As to paying for others healthcare, you already do numbnuts. The only people who get screwed are the ever growing working poor, who will soon resemble characters from a Dickens novel.

This utopia you seem to describe of a few wealthy folks and everyone else scrambling for the crumbs has been replicated many times in history. Each time it has led to the collapse of that society.

This is no longer the land of "Westward Ho the Wagons", we a re now a complex and intertwined society.

But your attempts to revive the no-nothing Party within the Republican ranks is the best news Obama could have gotten.

When the GOP tells folks they will not get pre-existing coverage, they will not be protected from being dropped for getting sick, it will make for a banner year in 2012.

The Jokers are Wild!

Anonymous said...

Well said 3:51. these angry baggers hate Obama and the Democrats so bad they would cut off their won arms to throw at him..No hysteria like crazy wingnut hysteria.

Remember the Moravians are communists, as so eloquently stated by a tea party intellectual. Sorry for the unintentional oxymoron.

Bernard P. Fife said...

I want a healthcare plan just like the one Charlie Dent has.

Anonymous said...

Charlie is suck a hypocrite that he still uses his Pa state funded healthcare for he and his family. The Federal plan is not good enough for him.