WISCONSINREPORT.COM (01/20/2011) - The U.S. House of Representatives Republicans made good on promises to constituents in the last election cycle, by passing a bill to repeal the health care reforms by a vote of 245 to 189. U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) says he voted against what he calls Republican efforts to increase the debt by 230 billion, repeal critical patient rights, and give powerful health insurance companies back control of health care decisions. Congressman Ron Petri (R-WI), who voted for repeal, says a new approach to the health care situation is needed.
"At a time when we should be focusing on creating jobs and growing the economy, this repeal effort is a waste of time and irresponsibly increases the deficit by $230 billion," said Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind.
"With the possibility of increased out-of-pocket costs, higher prescription drug prices, and lost coverage, western Wisconsin can’t afford repeal either," Kind said.
Supporters of the reforms enacted last year say if the repeal passes the Senate and is signed into law, consumer protections enacted under the Affordable Care Act would be lost. Big insurance companies will again be able to deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions, cancel coverage when people get sick, raise prescription drug costs, and limit the care people can receive.
In western Wisconsin alone:
- 100 young adults would lose insurance coverage through their parent’s health plans;
- 110,000 seniors covered under Medicare would be denied preventive care benefits;
- 8,800 seniors on Medicare would see significantly higher prescription drug costs, fall back into the Medicare Part D Donut Hole, and be denied a 50% discount on prescription drugs this year;
- 15,700 small businesses and 182,000 families would lose health care tax credits;
- Health care providers would not be rewarded for high quality, low cost care; there would be increased waste in the system and the cost of care would continue to rise.
Representative Ron Kind offered this anticdote:
"Last fall, a young man in Black River Falls thanked me for supporting health care reform. I asked him why. He told me his brother needed a kidney a year ago, so he gave him one of his. Now, even though he is a healthy young man, insurance companies deny him coverage because he has a ‘pre-existing condition’. Health care reform ensures he can no longer be denied. We cannot afford to repeal this bill."
Opponents of the repeal say it hurts America’s middle class by ending tax breaks and assistance to help millions of families and small businesses pay for coverage. It would eliminate millions of American jobs that are expected to be created by reducing employer costs for health coverage.
"There is already $800 billion in wasteful spending each year that doesn’t help the patient – this number would continue to grow and the price of care would continue to rise," Representative Kind points out.
He says this would hurt the health care providers in western Wisconsin who are working so hard to provide high quality, affordable care and serve as model for the rest of the country. And "repeal explodes the federal deficit by $230 billion over the next 10 years and by more than $1.2 trillion in the following decade," Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind says.
The bill to repeal last year's health care reform was approved by the House of Representatives Wednesday evening by a vote of 245 to 189.
Wisconsin Republicans who voted for repeal in the U.S. House of Representatives have a different take on the health care reform issue.
"Last year's health care reform took a fundamentally wrong approach, and we need to start from scratch," said Wisconsin Congressman Tom Petri, who voted in favor of the repeal measure.
"I want to emphasize that we aren't simply talking about repealing the health care bill. We are talking about repealing and replacing it with something more affordable and more manageable, Petri said.
"I'm working on alternatives and am eager to show that there are better ideas," said Representative Petri.
Newly elected 7th Wisconsin District U.S. Congressman Sean Duffy (R-WI) gave the following speech from the floor of the U.S. House during debate of H.R. 2, the repeal of the healthcare law:
"Americans have wanted health care reform for some time now, but they don’t want what passed last spring. This was a 2,000 page bill that gives us more mandates and more regulation. It doesn’t accomplish the goal of reducing costs and increasing access. And it puts our healthcare decisions in the hands of bureaucrats, not in the hands of patients and family members, where it belongs," Congressman Duffy said.
“Tomorrow, we begin the process of replacement with commonsense, market-based solutions that are going to bring costs down. Solutions like: competition across state lines, portability, price transparency, tax parity and allowing folks who have pre-existing conditions to obtain coverage," Duffy said on the floor of Congress in Washington D.C..
"I look forward to starting tomorrow to working with not only my friends here on the right, but also my colleagues on the left to craft a bill that’s going to work for the American People," Representative Sean Duffy said.
The House health care reform Repeal bill fate now is in the hands of the U.S. Senate where pundits don't expect it to pass.
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