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Herger Calls on Speaker Pelosi to Find Out the Real Impact of Democrats’ Health Care Bill

November 02, 2009

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Wally Herger (R-CA), Ranking Member of the Ways & Means Subcommittee on Health, today introduced a resolution calling for Members of Congress and the public to be allowed to review an estimate of the financial effects of any proposed health care legislation, prepared by the Office of the Actuary (OACT) for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at the Department of Health and Human Services, for at least 72 hours prior to a House vote.  Herger was joined in this effort by Ways & Means Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI) and fellow Health Subcommittee members, Reps. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL), Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Sam Johnson (R-TX). 

The OACT analysis of H.R. 3200, Speaker Pelosi’s original bill, estimated that it would increase health care spending by $750 billion over ten years.  Now that Speaker Pelosi has developed a plan that is nearly twice as long, the Health Subcommittee members believe that Members and the public should have access to an updated OACT review.  House Democrats in the Blue Dog Coalition agree on the need for this information and have asked the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office to provide data on what impact this bill will have on national health care expenditures.  Comments from Congressmen Herger, Camp, and Ryan follow below:

Congressman Herger stated, “For the last several months Speaker Pelosi and President Obama have turned a deaf ear to the American public’s legitimate concerns over the impact government-run health care will have on our quality of care and economic future.  Now, after they’ve introduced a 2,000 page bill that would likely raise health care costs by hundreds of billions of dollars, they’re ignoring the financial experts who can shine a light on how truly expensive this government takeover will be.  It is essential that Members of Congress have access to the best, most accurate information before voting on one of the most important bills in the history of this country.  And I find it irresponsible to try to ram a health care bill through Congress without a measured and thoughtful look at the long-term effects it will have on our nation’s future.  All previous examinations of Democrats’ plans for government-run health care have shown that it will not only fail to reduce skyrocketing health care costs, it will actually increase them.  And now they want to ignore further expert review because they know when the analysis is in, it will show that the Pelosi health care plan will only make things worse.  I urge the Speaker to allow time for proper review so we can get this incredibly important job done right.”

Congressman Camp said, “Americans know and even the White House has admitted that we simply cannot afford to spend more money on health care.  Our current spending is already crushing families, small businesses and exploding the federal deficit.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are the only agency to give us an analysis as to what the Democrats’ health bill means in terms of how much we spend as a nation on health care.  Members of Congress and the American people deserve and need to know this information before a vote takes place.”

Congressman Paul Ryan added, “We all agree that meaningful health care reform is long overdue, but it is increasingly clear that Washington’s trillion-dollar, two-thousand page overhaul will make matters worse.  Medicare and Medicaid’s chief actuary delivered a critical warning last month that H.R. 3200 would dramatically increase federal health care spending, threaten the coverage of millions of Americans, and bend the cost curve in the wrong direction.  CMS found that the consequences of this legislation contradict its own goals.  Speaker Pelosi is now pushing a nearly identical bill through the House this week with an extra thousand pages added behind closed doors – it is a distinction without a difference.  I am proud to join Rep. Herger and my colleagues on the House Ways and Means Committee to make certain that Congress has the facts before its acts.”