Bob Goodlatte: The wrong prescription for America

Column by Bob Goodlatte

Just days ago President Obama signed into law sweeping health care reform legislation pushed by Congressional Democrats that will dramatically impact every family, taxpayer and small business in America. As I have said time and time again, this monstrosity, which I voted against, amounts to a big government takeover of our health care system – one that will lead to fewer choices, higher prices and rationed care. Furthermore, the bill creates more than 159 new government agencies and programs at a cost of well over $2.5 trillion.

Almost immediately after the misguided legislation was passed by the Congress, states Attorneys General began filing lawsuits against the federal government. The health care reform law includes $17 billion in new taxes on Americans who do not purchase health insurance. So far over a dozen states, including Virginia, have filed suit claiming that this individual insurance mandate is unconstitutional. Never before in the history of our country has a tax been levied on individual Americans by their government with the purpose of forcing them to do something the government wants them to do. I applaud these states for taking action and I have cosponsored legislation which would prohibit funding for the implementation or enforcement of the individual health insurance mandate. All Americans should be worried anytime the federal government tries to trample on or ignore our Constitution and in fact a recent CBS news poll shows that 62 percent of Americans believe that lawmakers should continue to challenge the government takeover of health care.

In addition to mandating that folks have health insurance, the government-run plan included in the law, will force millions out of the coverage they currently have. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that 8-9 million people will be dumped from their employer sponsored coverage. In addition, the legislation imposes new taxes on medical devices, such as wheelchairs, and on health insurance plans, which will be passed directly on to patients in the form of higher health care costs.

To pay for this massive new government expansion, the legislation contains a total of $569 billion in devastating new tax increases imposed on individuals and small businesses. This will result in millions of lost jobs as small businesses are forced to take money from salaries to pay new taxes. In addition, the legislation would cut Medicare for our nation’s seniors by over $500 billion.

These are some of the most troubling provisions of the new health care reform law and that is why I have cosponsored several bills that would repeal this new law in its entirety. Rather than dictating medical decisions from Washington, we should be concentrating our efforts on making premiums more affordable for all Americans and giving them the freedom to choose the plan that best fits their needs. While we can all agree that our current health care system needs to be reformed, the new health care law was not the right way to do it which is why we must repeal it and replace it with commonsense measures that expands access and choices while lowering costs.

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