It has been a while since I posted one of these. I just wanted to put this one out there. It seems that Obamacare is the gift that keeps on giving. What a surprise, it costs us more than was thought and now there is a good chance you won’t get to keep your current coverage.

This Week in Washington – Friday, June 18, 2010

Every week since the health care bill passed, the public has been treated to new information demonstrating how this bill costs more than advertised, how it is going to drive up premiums, and how it is going to force them out of the health plans the President and his allies in Congress promised they could keep.

Since the March 21 vote, we’ve found out that the bill very likely will cost billions more than we were originally told.  One CBO report back in May said it may be as much as $115 billion more.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service say the country will spend $311 billion more on health care under the new law than we would have without it.

Contrary to what the public was led to believe, new information just released indicates that you may not be able to keep your coverage if you like it.  A new report indicated up to 69 percent of employer-provided plans may be forced to change their health plans when the new mandates and requirements begin in 2014.

We were specifically told that no illegal immigrants would be covered by the health care bill.  Yet there’s no real requirement to demonstrate you’re a citizen, so how would we know if illegals were receiving care?  We won’t, plain and simple.

I continue to believe a mandate that requires individuals to buy health insurance violates the Constitution.  Never in our history have individuals been forced to buy a good or service just because they are a citizen.

Therefore, we must work to repeal the current legislation and replace it with ideas that will actually decrease costs while increasing the number of those insured.

One of the easiest, and most common sense, ways to do that would be to allow small businesses to pool together and buy health insurance – across state lines – as one big company instead of many small ones.  Competition lowers prices.

I have been a strong advocate for medical malpractice reform, which is a huge cost driver.  The current system forces doctors to practice defensive medicine.  Every time an unnecessary medical test is run, that increases costs.  Every time a frivolous lawsuit is successful, that increases costs.

Americans deserve better than the loop-hole filled, back-door negotiated, special interest bill they got.  I intend to work to make sure it is replaced with legislation that cuts costs and increases coverage.

Follow Me on Facebook

I always try to stay up to speed on what’s going on in the Sixth District.  Interacting with you and hearing from you are great ways to do it.  Now you can follow me on my Facebook page to see what I’m working on in Washington whenever you want.  I encourage you to become a “fan” of my page and to stop by often.

This Week

On Wednesday, the House voted to approve H.R. 5486, the Small Business Jobs Tax Relief Act of 2010 by a vote of 247—170, with my strong disapproval.  The bill provides very modest tax relief for a small number of businesses while increasing taxes elsewhere.  Overall, the bill would create a net revenue increase for the federal government of $3.6 billion over 10 years.  While this may initially appear to be Washington behaving in a fiscally responsible manner, the sole purpose of this bill is to cover part of the cost of the Small Business Lending Fund Act of 2010 (which I mention below).  It seems like common sense to me, but increasing taxes during a recession is not a recipe for economic recovery.  Actually, it’s quite the opposite.

On Thursday, the House voted to pass H.R. 5297, the Small Business Lending Fund Act of 2010 by a vote of 241—182, again with my strong disapproval.  Proponents of the $30 billion bill said it was designed to allow smaller financial institutions to lend money to small businesses.  However, as I said on the Floor of the House of Representatives, there is nothing in this legislation that requires this money be loaned to small businesses.  By continuing to spend money that we don’t have, our government is leading us down a dangerous path.  In order to encourage small business hiring, Congress needs to stop pushing policies and programs that lead to higher debt, increased taxes and more government intrusion in the private sector.  While I appreciate that Congressional Leaders are finally starting to turn an eye toward small businesses, I am disappointed in this effort.

The House will be in session next week.  Have a good weekend.


Sam Graves


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