Without the Promised Replacement, Repeal Bill Fails to Fix Our Health Care System
In keeping with his call for bipartisan efforts to fix the deeply flawed health care law passed last year, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) voted against a Republican bill to repeal the law because it failed to contain a replacement plan, contrary to pledges to “repeal and replace.” Congressman Lipinski will continue working to make much-needed fixes to the health care law, which he voted against last March.
“I voted against the health care bill last March because it is not fiscally sustainable, does little to reduce costs for most Americans, threatens seniors’ access to care by cutting Medicare funding, and permits federal funding for abortion,” Congressman Lipinski said. “But while Republicans promised to repeal the old law and replace it with a better plan, this bill only contains a repeal. We could not even offer amendments that would have allowed us to vote to keep some of the good parts of the law passed last year that will reform health insurance by banning lifetime and annual limits on coverage, extending coverage for dependents on their parents’ health plans, and banning discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.
“To repeal without replacing puts us right back where we started, with a health care system in dire need of improvement and no impetus for reform.
“It is clear that this repeal bill will never even be considered in the Senate. And even if it were, the choice should not be all-or-nothing, take-it-or-leave-it – between the prior status quo and the health care law exactly as written. Even proponents of the law admit it’s not perfect, and even its biggest detractors concede the system we had in place needed serious improvements. Instead of voting on this repeal we should be using the time to work on the middle class priorities of promoting job creation and developing a good replacement to fix a broken health care system in which Americans continue to struggle with skyrocketing costs.
“Improving our health care system ought to be a bipartisan effort. When Democrats wrote a bill with little input from Republicans, the American people were not happy with the result, and neither was I. Now we see the other party acting similarly. My position is the same as it has always been: both parties need to work together, listen to the American people, and agree on solutions that are capable of commanding the support of a broad majority. When we do this, we will be able to replace the deeply flawed law passed last year with health care reform that expands coverage to more Americans while also reining in health care costs without bankrupting taxpayers, without threatening coverage for seniors, and without changing the status quo prohibiting the federal funding of abortion.”
On Thursday the Republicans will bring to the floor a non-binding resolution requesting that various committees draft selected health care reform measures. Congressman Lipinski will vote in favor of the resolution because, although it does not constitute the promised replacement of the health care law, it is a step in the right direction and provides a path toward making such changes as lowering costs through increased competition and choice as well as prohibiting taxpayer funding for abortion.
(January 19, 2011)
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