What the U.S. House Has Done Regarding Repealing Last Year's Health Care Bill
Here’s what the House has accomplished:
Jan. 19: I voted with the House as it passed H.R. 2, the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act: One of our first official actions was to repeal ObamaCare in its entirety and instruct committees to begin work on finding common-sense, patient-centered replacement legislation.
Feb. 19: The House passed (and I voted for) H.R. 1, the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011.
Along with H.R. 1, the House passed several substantial bipartisan amendments that would severely handicap implementation of ObamaCare:
• Rehberg Amendment No. 575: Bans the use of funds in this act to be used for any employee, officer, contractor or grantee of any department or agency funded in this title (Labor & Health and Human Services departments)to implement the health care provisions of ObamaCare. (Passed: 239-187)
• King Amendment No. 267: Prohibits funds from being used to implement ObamaCare. (Passed: 241-197)
• King Amendment No. 268: No funds may be may be used to pay officials who implement ObamaCare. (Passed: 237-191)
• Emerson Amendment No. 83: No funds in this act may be may used by the IRS to implement or enforce provisions on ObamaCare related to the reporting of health insurance coverage. (Passed: 246-182)
• Price Amendment No. 409: Provides that no funds in this act may be used by Health and Human Services to implement or enforce the Medical Loss Ratio provision. (Passed: 241-185)
• Burgess Amendment No. 200: Prohibits any funds in this act to be used to pay the salary of any officer or employee of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. (Passed: 239-182)
• Pitts Amendment No. 430: No funds in this act may be used for an officer or employee at the departments of Health and Human Services and Labor, and the IRS to take any action to specify or define, through regulations, guidelines, or otherwise, essential benefits as required in ObamaCare. (Passed: 239-183)
• Gardner Amendment No. 79: No funds to be used to pay the salary of any employee or officer of Health and Human Services who develops regulations or guidance regarding Exchanges under ObamaCare. (Passed: 241-184)
• Hayworth Amendment No. 567: No funds may be used to implement the Independent Payment Advisory Board created under ObamaCare. (Accepted by voice vote)
On March 3, the House passed, with my vote, H.R. 4, the Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011, a repeal of the IRS Form 1099 provision.
I have co-sponsored numerous bills relating to ObamaCare:
• H.R. 2, the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.
• H.R. 4, the Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 201.
• H.R. 5, the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2011. This legislation would provide for comprehensive medical liability reform which would reduce the practice of defensive medicine and lower national health expenditures. In Pennsylvania, medical liability costs are over $5,500 per physician, the second highest in the nation.
• H.R. 358, the Protect Life Act, which amends ObamaCare to prohibit federal funds from being used to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion services.
• H.R. 452, the Medicare Decisions Accountability Act of 2011, which repeals sections of ObamaCare (and restores provisions of law amended by such sections) related to the establishment of an unelected Independent Payment Advisory Board that would have a nearly unchecked role in setting Medicare payment levels.
• H.R. 488, the Save our Medical Devices Act of 2011, which repeals the excise tax on medical devices included in ObamaCare.
I serve on three committees – Judiciary, Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security – and through my work on these committees, I have played a role in these advancements:
Feb. 16: House Judiciary Committee passed (with my vote and support) H.R. 5, the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2011, which provides for tort reform.
Feb. 16: the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the constitutionality of the individual mandate included in ObamaCare.
There is no doubt that we have the best health-care system in the world but I know that many improvements are needed.
I am a two-time cancer survivor and my 16-year-old daughter suffers from cystic fibrosis, an incurable disease. I know first-hand how expensive treatment, hospitalization and medication have become. I realize that there are many measures federal and state governments can take to make it less expensive for employers who choose to provide this benefit and easier for individuals to shop around to get the best buy. We can’t penalize people who have pre-existing conditions and we can’t punish doctors by saddling them with exorbitant medical malpractice costs.
There is a remedy for out-of-control health costs. But we aren’t going to find it inside a 2,000-plus-page document that was never carefully reviewed by the legislators who voted for it or revealed to the Americans whom it will affect.