Congressman Graves-This Week in Washington 10/30/09

Posted: November 1, 2009 in Congressman Sam Graves, This Week in Washington
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Below is the 10/30 edition of Congressman Graves WADC legislation report called This Week in Washington. In it he tells us what is in Nancy Pelosi’s health care bill. I would encourage you to read and share with others. There is some scary stuff in it. This is not a compromise bill, it’s an outright slap in the face of the millions that oppose it. You need look no further than page 94 to see this. CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN AND TELL THEM TO OPPOSE THIS BILL.

This Week in Washington- October 30th

In Washington this week, House Leaders unveiled a trick disguised as a treat. Speaker Pelosi finally unveiled her version of health care reform this week. Unfortunately, the over 1,900 page bill looked an awful lot like what we have seen previously. If you want to read the bill, you can do so here.

Here are some things in the bill you might find interesting, courtesy of the House Republican Conference.

Page 94—Section 202(c) prohibits the sale of private individual health insurance policies, beginning in 2013, forcing individuals to purchase coverage through the federal government

Page 110—Section 222(e) requires the use of federal dollars to fund abortions through the government-run health plan—and, if the Hyde Amendment were ever not renewed, would require the plan to fund elective abortions

Page 111—Section 223 establishes a new board of federal bureaucrats (the “Health Benefits Advisory Committee”) to dictate the health plans that all individuals must purchase—and would likely require all Americans to subsidize and purchase plans that cover any abortion

Page 211—Section 321 establishes a new government-run health plan that, according to non-partisan actuaries at the Lewin Group, would cause as many as 114 million Americans to lose their existing coverage

Page 225—Section 330 permits—but does not require—Members of Congress to enroll in government-run health care

Page 255—Section 345 includes language requiring verification of income for individuals wishing to receive federal health care subsidies under the bill—while the bill includes a requirement for applicants to verify their citizenship, it does not include a similar requirement to verify applicants’ identity, thus encouraging identity fraud for undocumented immigrants and others wishing to receive taxpayer-subsidized health benefits

Page 297—Section 501 imposes a 2.5 percent tax on all individuals who do not purchase “bureaucrat-approved” health insurance—the tax would apply on individuals with incomes under $250,000, thus breaking a central promise of then-Senator Obama’s presidential campaign

Page 313—Section 512 imposes an 8 percent “tax on jobs” for firms that cannot afford to purchase “bureaucrat-approved” health coverage; according an analysis by Harvard Professor Kate Baicker, such a tax would place millions “at substantial risk of unemployment”—with minority workers losing their jobs at twice the rate of their white counterparts

Page 336—Section 551 imposes additional job-killing taxes, in the form of a half-trillion dollar “surcharge,” more than half of which will hit small businesses; according to a model developed by President Obama’s senior economic advisor, such taxes could cost up to 5.5 million jobs

Page 520—Section 1161 cuts more than $150 billion from Medicare Advantage plans, potentially jeopardizing millions of seniors’ existing coverage

Page 733—Section 1401 establishes a new Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research; the bill includes no provisions preventing the government-run health plan from using such research to deny access to life-saving treatments on cost grounds, similar to Britain’s National Health Service, which denies patient treatments costing more than £35,000

Page 1174—Section 1802(b) includes provisions entitled “TAXES ON CERTAIN INSURANCE POLICIES” to fund comparative effectiveness research, breaking Speaker Pelosi’s promise that “We will not be taxing [health] benefits in any bill that passes the House,” and the President’s promise not to raise taxes on families with incomes under $250,000

Legislation

·        Interior Appropriations: The House passed the conference report for H.R. 2996, the Department of the Interior, Environment Appropriations Act 2010, by a vote of 247-178.  The conference report contained a total of $32.24 billion—$4.6 billion or 17 percent above FY 2009 spending levels.  In addition to the huge funding increase, agencies funded through the bill also received $11.2 billion primarily from the “stimulus” bill.  I voted against this bill. We simply cannot afford double digit increases when we have a $1.4 trillion dollar deficit.

·        Small Business Bill:  The House passed H.R. 3854 by a vote of 389-32.  The Small Business Financing and Investment Act of 2009 is a “minibus” small business package, comprised of eight individual bills dealing with small business loan programs of the Small Business Administration (SBA).  The legislation also establishes new small business programs, including a small business health information technology financing program and a grant program for venture capital funds to invest in early-stage small businesses in targeted industries. As the Ranking Member of the Small Business Committee, I supported these programs which are essential for many small businesses to succeed.

The House will be in session on Monday. We expect to vote on the Speaker’s health care bill probably toward the end of the week. There will be a major push to get enough Blue Dog Democrats to oppose and ultimately defeat the bill.

 

Have a good weekend.

Sincerely,

Sam Graves

 

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