The following press release constains 16th District Republican Congressman Don Manzullo’s position on the Democratic Party health care proposal in the U.S. House:
Reduce Quality of Health Care in America
[WASHINGTON] Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL) today said he opposes the Democrat health care bill because it will surge taxes on America’s small businesses – stifling their ability to create jobs at a time America desperately needs jobs – while forcing the government between patients and their doctors and putting the private health care coverage of 114 million Americans at risk.
Instead, Manzullo supports alternative health care reforms that would reduce the costs of health care in America and make coverage more available to the 46 million uninsured.
The former Chairman of the House Small Business Committee, Manzullo for years has been a champion of efforts to make health care more affordable and accessible for America’s small employers and their employees, who account for more than 56 percent of our nation’s uninsured.
In addition, Manzullo believes Congress should prohibit denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions and allow children to stay on their parents’ health care plans until they are 25 years old or emancipated (this would reduce the uninsured by 7 million).
“America’s health care system is struggling and is in need of reform to reduce costs and increase coverage to the uninsured. But the Democrat health care bill would do more harm than good, surging costs on the job creators of our economy, forcing the government between patients and their doctors, and putting the private health care coverage of 114 million Americans at risk,” Manzullo said.
“The reforms I support would reduce the costs of health care in America, make the system more accessible to the 46 million uninsured, and preserve the strong doctor-patient relationship to ensure health care decisions are not made by Washington bureaucrats.”
By including a government-managed program, the Democrat plan (H.R. 3200) would:
- Risk the private health care coverage of 114 million Americans as employers would reconsider offering the benefit in lieu of government-provided coverage, according to the Lewin Group.
- Hike taxes more than $800 billion on struggling employers who can’t afford to offer insurance to their employees and on the uninsured who don’t purchase health insurance for themselves (the bill makes health care coverage mandatory for all Americans and actually slaps a 2.5 percent income tax surcharge on the uninsured who don’t purchase health insurance.)
- Surge government spending another $1.3 trillion over the next 10 years. This comes on top of the $700 billion Wall Street bailout and $780 billion stimulus plan that will take Americans generations to re-pay.
- Put another 4.7 million Americans out of work as struggling employers go out of business trying to comply with the new costly mandate that makes them non-competitive in the global marketplace.
- Establish new European-style government health bureaucracies to ration health care services. The bill creates a new government board, the “Health Benefits Advisory Committee,” that would empower federal bureaucrats to consider cost as factor when making coverage decisions.
Instead, Manzullo supports several reform initiatives that would make health care coverage more affordable and more accessible to Americans, including:
- Reforming our out-of-control medical liability system – Medical malpractice insurance continues to surge, skyrocketing health care costs and forcing doctors and other medical professionals to practice “defensive medicine,” which entails ordering costly and often unnecessary tests to cover all the bases from lawsuits. Manzullo is a cosponsor of the HEALTH Act (H.R. 1086) that would fully compensate victims for medical injuries but place reasonable caps on punitive and non-economic damages that often inflate the awards and contribute to out-of-control liability and health care costs.
- Creating refundable tax credits to help low-income Americans purchase health insurance – Low-income children are already covered through the federal SCHIP program, and Manzullo supports refundable tax credits to help low-income adults purchase health insurance.
- Allowing the creation of Association Health Plans — AHPs would allow small businesses to pool together through national associations to give them the same purchasing power as large companies and labor unions to buy affordable health insurance for themselves and their employees. Manzullo is a co-sponsor of the bipartisan SHOP Act (H.R. 2360) to accomplish this goal.
- Expanding tax-free availability to Health Savings Accounts — HSAs allow small business owners to offer more affordable high-deductible health insurance plans to their employees and make tax-deductible contributions to employee savings accounts to allow their employees to build equity and assume personal control of their health care needs. Congress should increase the tax deductibility for these insurance plans.
- Preserving high-quality health care through America’s community health clinics – Manzullo supports continued funding of our community health clinic system, which provides high-quality health care to America’s low-income families. Manzullo has been a strong supporter of Rockford’s Crusader Clinic, which serves more than 40,000 needy patients in northern Illinois each year.
- Expanding small business tax deductions for health care expenses – Corporations currently are able to purchase health care coverage for their employees before they pay their payroll taxes. Self-employed small business owners – one of the toughest group of individuals to insure – should have the same opportunity, but do not. Manzullo is a cosponsor of the Equity for Our Nation’s Self-Employed Act (H.R. 1470) to allow the self-employed to purchase health care insurance prior to paying their Social Security and Medicare taxes. This would effectively reduce their health care costs immediately by more than 15 percent.