Blogs

December 7, 2009 - 3:47 PM

Health Care Reform Promises


Posted by: Sen. Richard Burr 

Senate Democrats and the President have repeatedly promised "if you like your current plan, you will be able to keep it." Yet, the health care reform bill being debated right now does not uphold this promise or, for that matter, numerous other promises made by this Administration. What happens to the 11 million Americans enrolled in Medicare Advantage when the program, along with its many benefits for our seniors, is cut to pay for a new government entitlement? Along those same lines, promises were made to "protect Medicare," and yet, the Senate voted Thursday to reject a proposal to protect seniors by stripping the package of nearly $500 billion in Medicare cuts used to fund this health care bill.  Cutting America's seniors' benefits is not reform.  These cuts are but one of many fatal flaws with this health reform bill.

This health care reform bill is not what the American people want.  From the moment the negotiations began, behind closed doors and not in front of the C-SPAN cameras as promised, Senate Democrats have ignored the voice of the American people and are not delivering on their promises.  I will continue to oppose this bill until we can come together on real solutions that lower health care costs and help every American access quality and affordable health care.  I support health reform, but the health bill currently before the Senate is not the solution.

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December 5, 2009 - 5:55 PM

Cutting America's Seniors' Benefits is not Reform


Posted by: Sen. Richard Burr 

There are currently almost 11 million seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage, and more than 250,000 of them are North Carolinians.  Senator Reid's (D-NV) health care reform bill contains more than $120 billion in cuts to the Medicare Advantage program.  Seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage receive benefits and services that traditional Medicare does not offer that reduce their out of pocket costs and ensure access to high quality, coordinated care.  A few of the benefits North Carolinians enjoy through their Medicare Advantage plans can include dental, vision, and hearing benefits, no copayments for preventive care, such as mammograms, and disease management programs, among many others.  In particular, I've heard from many of my constituents who  appreciate the wellness and fitness benefits they receive through Medicare Advantage.  The additional benefits provided by Medicare Advantage are particularly important to some of our nation's most vulnerable seniors-a higher portion of seniors in Medicare Advantage are lower-income and minorities are more likely to enroll in these plans.

The President and Senate Democrats have repeatedly said that if you like what you have then you can keep it, but what about the 11 million Americans enrolled in Medicare Advantage? What about the more than 250,000 North Carolinians enrolled in these programs?  Cuts to Medicare Advantage are cuts to Medicare benefits, it's that simple.  Although I do support health care reform,  cutting America's seniors' benefits is not reform.

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December 5, 2009 - 4:01 PM

Senator Burr on the Senate Floor 12/05/09


Posted by: Burr Press Office

 Senator Burr argues against cutting funds for hospice care on the Senate Floor.



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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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