E-News 1/21/2010

The Week Just Past: The Repeal of Obamacare Begins

It’s Official: The so-called “Stimulus” Bill was No Stimulus!

Cutting Federal Spending


The Week Just Past:  The Repeal of Obamacare Begins

“On Wednesday, the House voted 245-189 to completely repeal the so-called ‘Affordable Care Act,’ also known as Obamacare, and begin the process to replace it with a health system that is patient-centered and provides health care choices, not government-imposed mandates.

“I supported repeal for many reasons.

“With the national debt approaching $14 trillion, the November elections sent a strong message that the American people want Congress to live within its means and cut spending.

“Passage of the 3,000-page Obamacare bill last year was the perfect example of Washington’s ‘out-of-control’ attitude toward the people’s money. 

“Obamacare backers are claiming the new health law would actually reduce the federal deficit.  However, the American people ‘get it.’  They understand that you can’t provide coverage for another 34 million Americans, maintain everyone’s quality of care and save the government money!

“The fact remains that if Obamacare is fully implemented it will not cut the deficit.  The law will actually add at least $700 billion to the deficit in its first 10 years! 

“But while impact on our public debt is important, so too is the effect the Obamacare law is already having on my constituents’ right to make their own health care choices for themselves and their families.

“The new law has given Washington bureaucrats extraordinary power to control the personal health care decisions of all Americans:

  • forcing us to buy health insurance that Washington politicians may deem to be acceptable;
  • potentially fining us for refusing to do so, (which I believe to be a violation of our Constitution);
  • determining our choice of doctors, hospitals and homecare;
  • deciding which medicines we can take and which medical procedures will be available to our families;

“This law is creating over 150 new boards, bureaus, committees, commissions, offices, pilot programs, working groups and agencies which will issue tens of thousands of pages of onerous regulations that will change health care forever – and not for the better.

“It is important to remember that over 90-percent of all Americans have health coverage for themselves and their families.  Why did the last Congress insist on a virtual government takeover to benefit the other 10-percent?

“That's why I support repeal, coupled with major changes that assist those who do not have coverage without harming the care of hundreds of millions of Americans who do.

“I know from recent interactions that local doctors are changing their practices because this law discourages their ability to work as a single practitioner or in a group practice.  As a result, many are attempting to become full-time employees of hospitals. Others are contemplating retirement in the face of more paperwork, more red-tape and more risks to their license to practice. 

“The new law also does nothing to solve, or even diminish, the wave of junk medical lawsuits that force doctors, medical professionals and hospitals to practice defensive medicine. 

“Also missing from the law is any program to promote and support medical education in America.  Where will we get the next generation of doctors and nurses?    

“At the same time, doctors and hospitals face reduced Medicare reimbursements and even more onerous Medicare rules and regulations and even less incentive to treat senior citizens.

“In addition, current Medicaid enrollees are already having trouble finding doctors who will see them because of low reimbursement rates.  This law proposes to add another 18-million patients to this financially struggling, and absolutely necessary, program.

“Our hospitals are reeling.  Passage of the new health law has accelerated the layoff of hundreds of employees in hospitals in my Congressional district.  When $500 billion in Medicare cuts take hold, how are these institutions going to maintain their quality of care?

“That’s why the Senate should join the House and take the first steps towards replacing it, bill by bill, with reforms that will bring down costs and expand health care accessibility. This is an opportunity to ensure that our families remain in control of their own health care through a system that is patient-centered and provides health care choices, not Washington-imposed mandates. 

“It is also an opportunity to provide relief to the small businessmen and women who are being crushed by the new law’s heavy-handed 1099 IRS reporting requirements and penalties and families who will be buried under $529 billion in tax hikes.

“Despite what some of the political ‘talking heads’ may be saying, this week’s vote was not the end of this process.  Rather, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, this is ‘the end of the beginning’ of our push to make quality health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans.”

                                      Rodney Frelinghuysen

Recommended Viewing:Rodney’s speech this week on the Floor of the House of Representatives in support of repealing Obamacare.

Recommended Reading: Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the former Director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, writing in the Tuesday Wall Street Journal, “Health Care Repeal Won’t Add to the Deficit.”

Recommended Reading II: Herbert Pardes, writing in the Wednesday Wall Street Journal, “The Coming Doctor Shortage.”

Recommended Reading III: Jeanne Whalen and Alistair MacDonald, writing in the Thursday Wall Street Journal, “U.K. Unveils Plans to Revamp Health Service.”  It is ironic that the Pelosi-led Congress and President Obama orchestrated a federal government takeover of America's health care system ten months ago and England's new Parliament this month is “revamping its 63-year old National Health Service” to free their countrymen “by opening up their system, being competitive and cutting out waste and bureaucracy!”

Read the article here.

It’s Official: The so-called “Stimulus” Bill was No Stimulus!

As we approach the second anniversary of the enactment of President Obama’s so-called “economic stimulus” bill, a report released this week by the House Ways and Means Committee shows the law was a failure. 

Two years ago, President Obama’s chief economic advisors put together an analysis predicting that the “stimulus” package would “save or create” at least 3 million jobs by the end of 2010.  The new report compares the Administration’s projections for what would happen in the two years following their 2009 stimulus plan with what the country actually experienced. 

Simply put, it’s not a pretty sight.  Since that time, the unemployment rate has remained above 9 percent for 20 consecutive months, and there are 6.8 million fewer jobs than his economic advisors' analysis predicted. 

“The 112th Congress has no higher priority than to create the climate of certainty necessary to usher in a new era of private sector job creation,” Rodney said.  “That begins with repealing the job-killing health care law, cutting federal spending and lowering taxes wherever and whenever possible.”

Read the Ways and Means Committee report, here.

Cutting Federal Spending

On Tuesday, the House approved legislation to end the mandatory printing of bills and resolutions and save Americans an estimated $35 million over ten years. 

Current law requires the Government Printing Office to print hard copies of all bills and resolutions introduced in Congress.  Whenever a Member of Congress introduces a bill or resolution, the Government Printing Office prints 200 paper copies.  In the last Congress, Members introduced 14,042 bills and resolutions.  That’s 2.8 million paper copies! 

By eliminating the mandatory printing of every introduced bill, and instead using technology to ensure that bills are available online for everyone to examine, we can achieve significant savings to taxpayers, while still ensuring accountable and open government.

Of course, the $35 million in savings sounds like a drop in the bucket when measured against our $14 trillion national debt.  However, if the Senate would adopt this and similar budget cuts approved by the House, the total reductions could be considerable. 

Next week, the House will vote on a budget measure designed to reduce non-security federal spending for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011 to the levels of Fiscal Year 2008.   If fully implemented, this action will save the taxpayers $80 billion!

Recommended Reading IV: Daniel Henninger, writing in the Thursday Wall Street Journal,Will Afghanistan Be A Forgotten War?