Blogs

December 3, 2009 - 4:19 PM

Health Care Bill Stifles Job Growth


Posted by: Sen. Richard Burr 

At a time when consumer confidence is at a record low, we ought to be doing everything we can to re-establish faith in our economy.  We need to look no farther than the severe unemployment in North Carolina to understand just how hard the current times are.  However, the health care reform bill being considered by the Senate will slow economic growth by increasing taxes and health care costs, making America's small businesses less competitive and stifling job creation.  

The bill will impose $493 billion in new taxes, fees, and penalties, which will fall on the backs of small business owners.  The bill will also impose $28 billion dollars in taxes on employers who do not offer employees health care. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and economists agree that these mandates will increase labor costs, which would be passed along to their workers in the form of lower wages and eliminated jobs.  We should be supporting efforts by small businesses to jump start our nation's economic engine, not giving them additional challenges to overcome.

Unemployment is the worst it has been in 26 years, and the proposals within this bill will only make the situation worse.  I cannot support a bill that would sabotage job growth for Americans.  Small businesses are essential to growing our economy and we owe it to them and every other American to support real solutions that lower health care costs and help every American access quality and affordable health care.

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December 2, 2009 - 3:17 PM

Cutting Medicare to Pay for Health Care Reform is not the Solution


Posted by: Sen. Richard Burr

Cutting Medicare is not the way to pay for health care reform, but that is exactly what the current health care reform bill does.  Instead of putting a plan in place to put Medicare on better financial footing, this bill slashes almost a half of a trillion dollars from Medicare in order to pay for new government spending.  Those cuts include nearly $135 billion from hospitals, almost $15 billion from nursing homes, more than $40 billion from home health agencies, nearly $8 billion from hospices, and $120 billion from Medicare Advantage.

I receive letters and calls from North Carolinians daily who strongly oppose cuts to Medicare, which is why I support Senator McCain’s amendment to remove these cuts from the bill.  His amendment would require this bill to go back to the Senate Finance Committee with instructions for them to remove the cuts to Medicare.  As I have stated before, I agree we need health reform, but cuts to Medicare that jeopardize patient access to care are not the solution.

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December 1, 2009 - 2:49 PM

Health Care Bill puts Government between Doctors and Patients


Posted by: Sen. Richard Burr 

Breast cancer remains the second deadliest cancer among women, and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently recommended that women should not receive regular mammograms until they are 50.  It is highly concerning to me that this government Task Force inserted itself in decisions that should be made between doctors and their patients.  Even more concerning is that the health reform bill currently being debated in the Senate would link coverage decisions to the very same Task Force that issued such controversial recommendations just a few weeks ago.   

The Reid bill empowers government officials, not doctors,  to decide which preventive benefits Americans can or cannot have.  The bill would mandate that all private health plans and Medicare must cover preventive benefits as specified by the Task Force's recommendations.  Allowing coverage decisions to be put in the hands of unelected bureaucrats should be concerning to all Americans, especially women.

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November 30, 2009 - 3:27 PM

CBO Reports Health Bill Increases Premiums


Posted by: Sen. Richard Burr 

Today, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a new analysis of the health care bill introduced by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).  According to CBO, the bill will actually cause premiums to increase for individuals and families across America.   CBO estimates that premiums for individuals without employer-sponsored insurance coverage would increase 10 to 13 percent, or $2,100 per family.  In other words, the bill currently being debated on the Senate floor will require Americans to buy insurance that is more expensive than what would be available under current law.  The analysis also indicates that this bill does very little, if anything, to lower costs for small businesses and employers.

The latest CBO analysis confirms yet another fatal flaw with this bill: it fails to deliver on the promise to lower premium costs, and will instead actually increase costs for many Americans.  I agree that our nation needs health reform, but this bill is not the right solution.  I will continue to work to ensure this bill does not become law and encourage meaningful alternative solutions that lower health care costs. 

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November 21, 2009 - 5:00 PM

Senator Burr Discusses the cost of the Democrats' Health Care Reform Bill


Posted by: Burr Press Office

Senator Burr Discusses the cost of the Democrats' Health Care Reform Bill on the Senate floor on November 21, 2009.



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November 20, 2009 - 5:29 PM

Senator Burr Discusses Democrats Health Care Plan on the Senate Floor


Posted by: Burr Press Office

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November 19, 2009 - 3:39 PM

Senator Burr on the Senate Floor 11/19/09


Posted by: Burr Press Office

Today, Senator Burr spoke on the floor advocating for the Senate to pass the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2009. 



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November 18, 2009 - 9:33 PM

Democrats Health Care Bill


 

Last night, Majority Leader Reid unveiled the Democrats' health care reform bill. It is expected we will have an initial, procedural vote on the bill sometime this weekend. While I have not yet had time to review this 2074 page bill in its entirety, I will read -- and hope all Americans will read -- it carefully. As I have said before, there is too much at stake to get this wrong. To read through the bill, please click here.

In May, I introduced my own piece of health care reform legilsation titled the Patients Choice Act. To read more about my bill, please click here.

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November 17, 2009 - 3:24 PM

Setting the record straight on my bill to protect veterans' Second Amendment rights


Posted by: Sen. Richard Burr

There has been a good deal of talk lately about my bill, S. 669, to protect the Second Amendment rights of our nation’s veterans.  Much of the ‘discussion’ has been inaccurate, some of it deliberately so.  In fact, some newspapers (the Charlotte Observer and the Baltimore Sun) have run disingenuous editorials in opposition to my bill, claiming that I want to provide firearms to mentally unstable individuals.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  Let me explain the reason I introduced this bill.  Under current rules, a veteran who goes to the VA for help and is appointed a fiduciary to help manage their own finances is immediately reported, along with members of their household, to the FBI for inclusion on the NICS list (alongside convicted felons) and are prohibited from purchasing a firearm.  To date, the names of over 100,000 veterans have been arbitrarily included on this list despite the fact that they have not been proven to be a danger to themselves or anyone else.

 

My bill seeks to do one thing, and one thing only: provide that a judge or other judicial authority determine whether a veteran poses a potential danger to themselves or others before they are denied the ability to own or purchase a firearm.

 

S. 669 was approved by the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on a 14-0 vote earlier this year.  I hope that critics of my bill will actually read it before deliberately misrepresenting it in the press.  While the Administration worries about due process for terrorists, we should instead be concerned about due process for our veterans. They risked their lives to uphold the Constitution and they deserve to enjoy the rights they fought so hard to protect.

 

You can read my response to the editorial boards here.  You can read S. 669 here.  And the VA Committee report can be read here. 

 

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November 13, 2009 - 3:49 PM

9/11 Terrorists to the U.S.


Posted by: Sen. Richard Burr

I am disappointed to learn of the President's decision to bring Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four of his co-defendants to New York to be tried in federal court.  These are some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world; I find it shocking that the Administration would choose to bring the self-proclaimed mastermind of the September 11 attacks to our shores. 

Military Commissions were designed in a bipartisan effort specifically to provide terrorists a fair trial in a secure facility - without bringing them to our neighborhoods - and without undermining national security with exposure of sensitive information in civilian courts.  Release of that information, including the possible disclosure of the sources and methods used to gather intelligence, puts American lives - civilian and military - at risk.

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