Letters to the Editor

Viewpoint: Why I voted ‘no’ on health care takeover

I voted against this massive, out-of-touch, trillion-dollar government takeover of health care because it doesn’t solve the problem.

Instead of listening to the American people, what did Washington do? Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team rammed through Congress a bill that, according to survey after survey, the vast majority of Americans did not want. I heard the same message last September from those who attended my health care town hall in Paso Robles.

So what happened in Washington in the final hours of Sunday, March 21?

Congress passed a bill that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, could increase health care premiums by 10 percent to 13 percent — or as much as $2,100 — for millions of Americans. As health care costs continue to increase, I believe we need to find solutions that do not raise costs, but instead bring them down — that is what the American people are demanding.

Congress passed a bill that will spend almost a trillion dollars over the next 10 years. At a time of record-breaking deficits ($1.4 trillion this past fiscal year, and an estimated $1.5 trillion this year) and runaway debt (more than $12 trillion), I believe that Congress must stop mortgaging our children’s opportunities and future away. This Congress cannot be serious about deficit reduction when it continues to approve spending bill after spending bill in the hundreds of billions of dollars!

Congress passed a bill that will impose $569 billion in new job-killing taxes on Americans and on business. At a time when we are facing 12.5 percent statewide unemployment, raising taxes on job-creating small businesses will only make it more difficult for Californians to find the jobs they need.

Congress passed a bill that will cut almost $500 billion from Medicare to help pay for this government takeover, rather than reinvesting those funds into the program to help shore it up. And it does nothing to address the flawed Medicare physician payment program that plagues Central Coast doctors and their patients.

In taking away from Medicare, this bill merely expands another government program — Medicaid — by hundreds of billions of dollars. In fact, half the estimated gains in the insured come simply from enrolling more people on CHIP and Medicaid, programs that are already underfunded in many states and that routinely underpay health professionals for services.

Congress passed a bill that imposes a constitutionally questionable mandate on the American people and small businesses, forcing them to obtain government-approved health insurance or face a tax. Can you think of any other product or service the federal government taxes you on if you don’t buy it?

Yesterday, the president signed this bill into law.

The arrogance of Congress — to prescribe how we get our health care, to raise our costs, and to create new programs to make individuals more dependent on government — has never been the history of our country. And it doesn’t have to be the future of our country. It is time to listen to the people, who know that America deserves better. I will work to replace the harmful provisions of this bill with the commonsense solutions that Americans want.

To see some of these solutions, please visit my Web site: kevinmccarthy.house.gov.