Murkowski Slams New Health
Care Law, Urges Repeal
June 24, 2010
Washington, D.C. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) yesterday
again called on Congress to repeal the new health care law and
replace it with reforms that will drive down premiums and allow
Americans to exercise more control over their health benefits.
"This law is not what the American people wanted and it's
not what our president promised," Murkowski said in a speech
on the floor of the United States Senate. "I believe that
the legislation has to be repealed and it's got to be replaced
with sensible alternatives that are widely supported, such as
the ability to buy insurance across state lines, implementing
medical malpractice reform and reimbursing for quality of service
and not quantity of services."
Since the health care law was
enacted in March, according to Murkowski, a number of government
reports have confirmed what Republicans who opposed the federal
takeover of the health care system have feared all along
higher costs, less access and unsustainable spending.
Murkowski gave several examples:
- In April, the President's
own chief actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services,
Rick Foster, released a report saying that the new law will actually
increase national health care spending by $311 billion over the
next 10 years. Foster's report also said that about 14 million
people would lose their employer coverage by 2019, largely as
a result of small employers terminating coverage and workers
who currently have employer coverage enrolling in Medicaid.
- In May, the neutral government
score-keeper, the Congressional Budget Office, revised its initial
cost estimate of the bill to say that the law will likely cost
$115 billion more in discretionary spending over 10 years than
the original cost projection.
- Just this week the Congressional
Budget Office estimated that the health care law's high risk
insurance pools could end up costing up to three times more than
what is budgeted for. CBO said that an additional $5 to $10 billion
would be needed to fully fund all eligible enrollees in the high
risk pool expansion. Despite assurances from the president that
the high risk insurance pools in the new health care law would
allow those with pre-existing conditions to have access to health
insurance coverage, this has not turned out to be the case. According
to the CBO, the high risk pool in the new law will provide coverage
to only 200,000 individuals, a fraction of the estimated millions
of people with pre-existing conditions.
Murkowski said that small
businesses in America stand to lose most under the health care
"They were promised a pipe-dream, filled with tax credits
to save small businesses money, but the bill has had just the
opposite effect," Murkowski said, pointing to a recent Associated
Press story that chronicled an Illinois furniture company owner
who calculated that he would not qualify for a small business
tax credit unless he cut his work force from 24 to 10 employees
and slashed their wages.
"This Illinois employer's situation is no different than
any other employer regardless of what state they are in,"
Murkowski said. "As a matter of fact, in states like Alaska
and other high-cost localities, like New York City or San Francisco
where wages are higher because of the cost of living, the employers
stand to lose because they won't be eligible for these tax credits
simply because they pay their employees higher wages than allowed
for in the health care bill."
Murkowski said the health care law has put small businesses in
peril of dropping employees to avoid a $2,000 per employee penalty
called the employer mandate as well as reducing their wages to
qualify for the small business tax credits.
"We've passed a bill that hurts small businesses during
one of the worst economic downturns in the history of our nation,"
On the Web:
Listen to Sen. Murkowski
speak from the Senate floor on repealing the new health care
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