01.27.11

Burr Joins GOP Colleagues to Repeal Health Care Law

Legislation identical to House-passed repeal

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Yesterday, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) cosponsored legislation to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which President Obama signed into law March 23, 2010.

"Despite being marketed as a health care reform bill, the legislation that was signed into law expands the size and scope of the federal government while failing to deliver on the promise to lower health care costs," said Burr. "Hard-working Americans who are already struggling in this difficult economy are bearing the brunt of new taxes, fees, and penalties because of this law. With each day that goes by, it becomes clearer that we must repeal this bill and replace it with meaningful health reform that will actually reduce the cost of health care."

Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) is the lead sponsor of the bill. Thirty-eight Republicans have already cosponsored this bill, including Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire), John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts), Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia), Dan Coats (R-Indiana), Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John Ensign (R-Nevada), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia), Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska), Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), Mark Kirk (R-Illinois), Jon Kyl (R-Arizona), Mike Lee (R-Utah), John McCain (R-Arizona), Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), James Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), Richard Shelby (R-Alabama),Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), John Thune (R-South Dakota), Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania), David Vitter (R-Louisiana), and Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi).

UPDATE: All Republican Senators have signed on as cosponsors of this bill.

Facts about the Health Care Law:

    Increases government spending by trillions. When fully implemented, this new law will increase federal government spending by $2.6 trillion, just over 10 years. To see a chart outlining federal spending as a result of this bill, click here. Increases the costs of health care. This law fails to deliver on the promise to lower health care costs. In fact, the Actuary of the Medicare program has stated in a letter that national health spending will increase by $311 billion over 10 years. For a person who buys a new insurance policy in the nongroup market, this means their average premium would be 10 to 13 percent higher in 2016 than if we had done nothing. This is an average premium increase of $2,100 for a family policy in the individual market. Americans did not want reform that makes their premiums even more expensive. To read a report issued by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on the increase in premiums, click here. Massive expansion of government health care. The new law includes a massive expansion in the government's health care program for the low-income (Medicaid). Rather than making health insurance more affordable so that Americans could choose a policy that best meets their health care needs, 16 million more Americans will instead be forced into a government-run health care program in which 40 percent of physicians restrict access to patients. The Wall Street Journal ran an interesting story on this topic that you can read here. About 14 million people will lose the health insurance they get through their job, resulting in more Americans enrolling into Medicaid. In addition, the new law will cut a total of nearly $145 billion from Medicare Advantage plans - popular insurance plans that deliver a range of health care options to millions of seniors. This law also places new restrictions on Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Medical Savings Accounts, Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs), and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). The law's new restrictions and tax increases will dramatically change for the worse the coverage and benefits millions of Americans currently enjoy. New penalties and fees. This new law includes an unconstitutional mandate that requires most Americans to obtain health insurance or be charged a fine simply for not being insured. This fine could be the greater of $695 or 2.5% of your household income in the coming years. Taking money from Medicare and seniors' health care to create new government programs. This law cuts more than half a trillion dollars from Medicare beneficiaries in order to pay for the creation of new government programs. This includes cuts to hospitals, Medicare Advantage, home health, nursing homes, and hospice care. According to the Medicare Actuary, about "15 percent of Part A providers would become unprofitable within the 10-year projection period" because of the health care law. The Actuary also found that the new law may result in doctors terminating their participation in Medicare entirely, "possibly jeopardizing access to care for Medicare beneficiaries." New tax on retirees. On top of the Medicare cuts that retirees will face, this law actually increases taxes on employers who offer prescription drug coverage to their retired workers. This $4.5 billion tax increase will result in employers dropping their retiree health coverage, the exact opposite of what we should be doing. Job-stifling tax. This health reform law imposes a new tax on jobs by forcing employers who do not provide "acceptable" coverage to pay a penalty tax of up to $2,000 per worker. The Congressional Budget Office confirmed that such taxes "could reduce the hiring of low-wage workers."

In May 2009, before the Democrats unveiled their plans for health care reform, Senator Burr joined with Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) and Representatives Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and Devin Nunes (R-California) to introduce the Patients' Choice Act, a bill that would have delivered on the shared principles of promoting access to quality, affordable health care, and would have done so without adding billions of dollars in new debt or taxes. To read more about the Patients' Choice Act, click here.