Statement by Congressman McCaul on the Passage of the Democrats' Healthcare Reform Plan

Mar 21, 2010
Press Release

“In a desperate effort to pass a sweeping government takeover of our health care system, Democrats passed H.R. 3950, The Patient Protection and Health Care Affordability Act along with a package of desired ‘fixes’, H.R. 4872, The Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act.  In a purely partisan fashion, the Democrats have now passed the largest tax increase in history, a massive expansion of entitlements, and policies which will put the health care system at the whim of the Federal Government.

“One of the most distressing aspects of this legislation is the dishonesty which has been utilized for its passage.  I am shocked that Democrats support this 2,700 page monstrosity, complete with its slew of sweetheart deals that benefit home states of members who once opposed the bill.  Despite the backlash that rightfully followed these deceitful kickbacks, the Democrats included even more million-dollar deals for specific members in the reconciliation package.  This tactic is an abuse of power, an abuse of taxpayer money, and abandons the integrity that the American public expects from their Congress.

“The numbers in this plan are astounding.  The bill costs about $1.2 trillion over the next ten years, imposes almost $570 billion in new taxes on the American public, and cuts the Medicare program by over $500 billion.  As our economy attempts to recover from the largest recession since the Great Depression, this bill’s laundry list of new taxes is deplorable: $32 billion in taxes on health care benefits, $52 billion in taxes on employers, $17 billion in penalties on individuals, $210.2 billion in an unprecedented Medicare tax on wages, self-employment income, and certain investment income, and many more.  While these taxes will be in effect immediately, 98% of the bill’s provisions do not begin until 2014.  Therefore, Americans will be paying for health reform for four years without ever seeing the government return the favor.  Unbelievably, the bill’s true ten-year cost when fully implemented totals about $2.4 trillion dollars.

“What may be worse than the vast cost of this bill are the budgetary gimmicks used in its scoring. The authors use ten years of revenue to pay for only six years of government spending.  They also double count savings from Medicare cuts to simultaneously pay for Medicare entitlements and the bill’s new entitlements.  Furthermore, the bill does not include the $371 billion “doc fix,” legislation that will likely be passed separately to ensure doctors do not incur a huge cut in reimbursements.  These methods were used to dupe the American people, a smoke-and-mirrors strategy to uphold President Obama’s pledge that health care reform will “not add a dime to the deficit.”  Unfortunately, if one omits these budgetary tricks from the bill’s cost, it will actually increase the deficit by almost $600 billion in the first ten years.

“The structure of this bill is a clear effort to give the government complete control over health care—it takes choice and flexibility from American citizens while also making them pay more.  For example, the bill instructs the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary to determine what constitutes a ‘minimum benefits package’ for all Americans, and then reserves the right to fine the American people two percent of their income for not purchasing this insurance.  I believe that individuals can best determine for themselves how comprehensive their health care insurance should be, and that Americans have many different needs which cannot be defined by a one-size-fits-all package.  Unfortunately, H.R. 3590 sets the stage for mandated, standardized health care.

“My Republican colleagues and I proposed legislation that would address the core reforms of ensuring access to care regardless of means and pre-existing conditions without needlessly punishing individuals, families and businesses, without killing jobs, and without driving an estimated one-third of doctors out of their profession, as is cited in the New England Journal of Medicine.  Instead, the Democrats opted to push through their partisan, social agenda against the will of a majority of the American people.”

# # #