Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Leader Boehner's Healthcare Op-ed in the Miami Herald

Republicans have a much better plan
By John Boehner
November 4, 2009

By now, the American people have made it crystal clear to Washington that what they want out of healthcare reform is a plan focused on reducing costs, not growing government.

Unfortunately, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Democratic leaders ignored Americans' concerns and wrote a bill that would implement a government takeover of healthcare that actually increases costs and adds to our already skyrocketing debt.

Speaker Pelosi's healthcare bill represents 1,990 pages of bureaucracy designed to centralize healthcare decision making in Washington, D.C., at the expense of patients and doctors. It will require tens of thousands of new federal employees.

It will create dozens of boards, bureaus and commissions in charge of coming up with new regulations and red tape that will inevitably make healthcare in this country more expensive.

Indeed, Speaker Pelosi's bill will lead to higher health insurance premiums and impose new burdens on taxpayers from all walks of life and the nation as a whole.

Even though President Obama declared to Congress that the cost of healthcare reform would not exceed $900 billion over the next decade, Speaker Pelosi's bill clocks in at more than $1 trillion -- and counting.

The final price tag is sure to be higher as we continue to discover the bill's hidden costs.

There is nothing secret, however, about the fact that Speaker Pelosi's healthcare bill would raise taxes on working families. This applies even to those making less than $250,000, despite President Obama's repeated pledges to the contrary.

Speaker Pelosi's healthcare bill also delivers a crushing blow to small businesses in the form of burdensome mandates that will kill the jobs needed to get our economy back on track.

If that weren't enough, Speaker Pelosi's healthcare bill also calls for drastic Medicare cuts, leaving seniors with reduced benefits and fewer choices.
This will especially hurt those on Medicare Advantage, a successful program that nearly one million Floridians rely on.

In short, Speaker Pelosi's 1,990-page government takeover of healthcare fails to fix what's broken and undermines what works.

There is a better way. Republicans unveiled a plan in June that makes healthcare more affordable and accessible at a price our nation can afford. These are four smart, fiscally responsible reforms Republicans would implement right now to lower costs:

• Let individuals and families purchase health insurance across state lines;
• Allow individuals and small businesses to pool together and acquire health insurance at lower prices, the same way large corporations and labor unions do;
• Give states the tools to create their own innovative reforms that lower healthcare costs;
• End junk lawsuits that contribute to higher healthcare costs by increasing the number of tests and procedures that physicians sometimes order not because they think it's good medicine, but because they are afraid of being sued.

Visit to learn more about the Republican plan to lower healthcare costs.

We now have a choice: We can work together to implement smart, fiscally responsible reforms that improve Americans' healthcare or we can recklessly pursue this partisan government takeover that creates far more problems than it solves.

It's clear where the American people stand. They're frustrated and fed up.

The trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ isn't working.

Unemployment is rising.

The debt to be paid by our kids and grandkids is exploding.

And now comes Speaker Pelosi's 1,990-page government takeover of healthcare.

We simply cannot afford another Washington program that overspends and underdelivers.

Republicans will continue to stand on principle and fight for our better solutions to make healthcare more affordable and accessible for American families.

Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, is the Republican minority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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