Some Wisconsin Republican reaction
Priebus Statement on Passage of Flawed Health Care Bill
MILWAUKEE – Following partisan passage of a flawed health care bill, Republican Party of Wisconsin Chairman Reince Priebus issued the following statement:
“Instead of reform, Democrats in Congress voted for a $2.5 trillion dollar government-run health care bill that increases taxes, raises premiums, slashes Medicare and does nothing to control the cost of healthcare. The American people deserve better.
Instead of considering thoughtful and bipartisan proposals that would immediately bring down the cost of health care, Democrats have charged ahead recklessly with a bill that will bankrupt our nation for years to come and does little to address the underlying problems making health care unaffordable for many American families.
Badger State Democrats who supported this fiscally irresponsible health care bill filled with earmarks and special kickbacks should know this will not be the last they’ll hear from Wisconsin voters dissatisfied with the current bill. Congressmen Dave Obey, Steve Kagen, and Ron Kind will hear from voters loud and clear from now until November 2, 2010, when Wisconsinites go to the polls to fire Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats who have ignored their concerns.
Meanwhile, in Congressman Steve Kagen’s district, Reid Ribble:
Ribble Statement on Health Care Reform Passage
Today’s passage of health care reform was a sober reminder that our Congressman – Dr. Steve Kagen – is more interested in helping Nancy Pelosi than the citizens of the Wisconsin’s Eighth District. The health reform proposal passed today will not reduce costs and will increase taxes on every sector of the economy including the most poor and underserved. Most importantly, it has the potential of limiting and rationing care when Americans need it most.
Health care reform is essential, but this is not the measure that will fix our system’s problems. I agree that commonsense reforms are needed. Unfortunately, when the bill is implemented four years from now, they still will be. It’s tragic that the government takeover today will do nothing to bend the cost curve downward and will only serve to raise premiums and drive costs up. The most unfortunate aspect of the Pelosi/Kagen approach is the high number of hidden taxes that will be foisted on already-struggling families and businesses.
They include such taxes as:
· Surtaxes on earned income and investment income
· Taxes on real estate investments
· New marriage penalty taxes
· Increases in the Medicare tax that would, for the very first time ever apply to: capital gains, dividends, interest, rents, royalties, and other investment income that many senior citizens receive.
· And finally the health care bill contains at least 12 direct and indirect tax increases on the middle class, breaking the Presidents promise of not increasing by “a single dime” taxes on those making less than $200,000 for singles and $250,000 for couples. These include
o A tax on existing insurance plans
o An individual mandate tax on Americans who do not purchase government-approved health insurance
o An increase in the 7.5% adjusted gross income floor for medical expense deductions to 10%
o Limits on Flexible Spending Accounts
o Increased penalties for nonqualified Health Savings Account distributions
o Other restrictions on Health Savings Accounts, Health Reimbursement Accounts, and Flexible Spending Accounts
o A tax on tanning services
o An employer mandate tax
o A sales tax on medical devices
o A tax on health insurance premiums
o A tax on prescription drugs, and
o A tax on insured and self-insured health plans.
– More –
What is most surprising and personally disappointing is the lack of real reforms to the system; medical providers, small business owners, and experts agree that a few reforms would drive costs down.
There is no mention of legal reform – so defensive medicine and frivolous lawsuits will continue.
There is no reduction in the cost shifting that takes place from reduced Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements (Medicare and Medicaid pay health providers so little that providers are forced to charge others more to offset the cost)–and in fact that cost shifting will increase.
Decoupling insurance from employment would have also driven down costs and ultimately make individuals more responsible for their own health – in fact this bill makes employers more responsible.
Nothing in the bill will improve wellness because nothing in the bill improves health outcomes.