After many months of public conversation, congressional debate, and changes to legislation, it looks likely that tomorrow I will have the opportunity to vote on health insurance reform legislation.
As I’ve stated since my first day in office, we need true reform of our health care system. Costs have exploded over the last decade, and our nation’s fiscal future will remain in serious peril until we bring skyrocketing costs under control. In the past month alone, we’ve seen double-digit premium increases in New York – highlighting the fact that the status quo system is broken and cannot be sustained. The future of our economy and our families hangs in the balance.
I am thankful for the participation of so many individuals in this discussion– it’s why I’ve held over 100 events and meetings on health care and visited each of the 137 towns in the district. I have truly benefitted from the input of thousands of neighbors, friends, and constituents on this issue.
Last November, I voted against the House health care reform legislation because I did not believe it adequately addressed the fundamentally flawed system that has led to skyrocketing health care costs, bankrupt families, and excessive profits for insurance companies. In the months since that vote, I have worked closely with my constituents, my colleagues in Congress, and with President Obama to address many of these concerns and ultimately strengthen this legislation.
Tomorrow, I will have the opportunity to vote on a new bill that is fundamentally different: it will stop the out of control growth of health care costs, protect our local industries and jobs from unfair taxes, and helps small businesses create jobs – while cracking down on waste, fraud and abuse. Because of these changes, I will be voting yes, and want to outline my reasons:
This bill is fiscally conservative and slows the growth of health care cost and spending
As a fiscal conservative, I would only support a bill that will take strong steps towards reducing the deficit. This bill is fundamentally more fiscally conservative and affordable for our nation. It contains new cost cutting measures that will help to slow the health care costs that have been devastating our families and small businesses. This bill represents a major step away from the fee-for-service model that has driven costs upward for far too long. It will result in dramatic savings for the American people by reducing the deficit by $138 billion in the first decade and by $1.2 trillion in the second decade, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
This bill will not bring down the deficit. It will add 16,500+ jobs in the IRS which will monitor and make sure you comply with a “perhaps” unconstitutional mandate on the American people. That will be only the tip of the iceberg. Several years of taxes for something several years off.
Supports Small Businesses and Helps Create Jobs
Small businesses are the economic engine for job creation in our economy. As a small businessman, I am also keenly aware of the impact rising health care costs have on small businesses and New York’s economy. The bill before us makes significant improvements over the House-passed legislation by eliminating the employer mandate for small businesses, providing meaningful tax incentives, as well as creating heath care exchanges that allow businesses to band together to negotiate better prices from insurance companies. Injecting this market competition into our system is critical to driving better outcomes and lower costs, and is something that I wish had existed when I ran small businesses.
More BS. They could at no cost open up getting insurance across state lines. Tax incentives are not free. They cost those of us that don’t get them by having us subsidize those that do. Just cut taxes.
Strong steps towards cracking down on waste, fraud and abuse
On an issue where we’ve seen broad bi-partisan support, I’m very happy to announce that this bill will save billions by cracking down on waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid. I worked with the President to include provisions in the bill, as well as administrative changes to save billions in criminal waste from the system that will protect tax payer dollars and I am proud that we will take great steps to drive this criminal waste from the system.
What a joke! why at no additional cost aren’t these “rocket scientists” doing this now. If not why not? If they claim they are then why propose it in this bill? Just do it.
Fought to protect local employers and jobs
I am also pleased to report that, unlike in the old House bill, none of the paper mill manufacturers in our district will be subjected to a special tax. We also fought for significant changes to the proposed tax on medical products we manufacture in our district. Perhaps more importantly, this bill ensures that these good paying jobs will remain in upstate New York and won’t give an edge to foreign competitors or encourage American companies to move jobs overseas. My priority remains creating jobs and getting our economy back on track, and this bill will do just that.
What special tax and why at (probably) the expense of people in other states will it be eliminated?
The Need for Reform
These reforms will put health care choices back into the hands of patients and doctors, and out of the profit-driven discretion of insurance companies. Insurance companies will be banned from the predatory practices of capping lifetime benefits, refusing those with preexisting conditions, and eliminating coverage after an individual becomes sick.
This new legislation will allow every American to purchase health care on an exchange, just like Members of Congress, while expanding coverage for over 30 million Americans, including 29,000 in our own district. This plan will strengthen Medicare and protect our seniors, by closing the donut hole and make prescription drugs more affordable during these tough economic times.
Lastly, to put this in very personal terms, I’m here today in Washington with my son Duke, who is 4. This year, our nation will spend over $2.6 trillion on health care, up from $2.3 trillion last year, and the rate of spending is only increasing in the status quo system. If we don’t act today to reign in this out of control system, by the time he graduates high school we will be spending over $7 trillion a year on health care. Its simply unaffordable.
This is why we need reform. This is why I am voting yes.
Member of Congress
PS As always, if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to email or call my office at 202-225-5614 or ScottMurphy.house.gov. Our office will be open throughout the weekend.
This is one of the many reasons why we at the BPI group of blogs are endorsing the defeat of not only Representative Murphy but also Senators Gillibrand and Schumer in November. Do you want the IRS to have even more control over your life? That is exactly what will happen.