Rep. Heller has wasted no time revamping his website for his Senate run. I took the time to peruse it this morning and came across this:
“Dean opposes Obamacare and voted to repeal this massive government intrusion. Heller does not support this scheme to institute government-run health care that places personal health care choices in the hands of bureaucrats instead of in the hands of individuals and their doctors.
This new law will increase government spending by $2.6 trillion at a time our nation is experiencing record debt. If this law is allowed to be fully implemented it will destroy jobs, increase the price of healthcare, and add trillions to the national debt.
Dean believes the primary objective for health care reform should be to provide affordable health insurance for all Americans that provide more choices, better access and higher quality care.
Congress should work to curb frivolous lawsuits and runaway jury rewards that only serve to fatten the pockets of trial lawyers. Heller believes the current health care law should be replaced with market based reforms that bring down the cost of health care, increases access, and provides the consumer with more choices.”
First of all, it is not “Obamacare” and never has been. The name of the law is the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (PPACA). Secondly, I wonder if Rep. Heller has even bothered to read the act since he apparently (by his comments) doesn’t know what’s really covered by the law. I read it, all 906 pages! If I can do that as just an ordinary citizen, you’d think that an elected representative whose job it is to represent us and vote on potential legislation would do just that.
If Rep. Heller had actually read the Act, he would clearly understand that PPACA does NOT create a government-run healthcare program. Under PPACA, insurance companies (not the government) continue to provide insurance for people throughout this nation just as they alway have. The differences are however, that
- insurance companies are no longer allowed to take your money for years and then cancel your policy once you get sick so they don’t have to pay out any benefits.
- insurance companies can no longer claim a newly born child has “pre-existing” conditions and as such not coverable under the parents’ insurance policy from birth because of those “pre-existing” conditions.
- insurance companies can no longer impose yearly and annual caps on benefits you can receive.
- insurance companies must spend 80-85% of the of the premium $$ they receive on benefits to premium payers.
- insurance companies can no longer immediately dump young adults off their parent’s policies as soon as they graduate from high school.
And that’s just to itemize just a few provisions covered by the bill (go here to check out more). Rep. Heller can claim all day long that he “believes the primary objective for health care reform should be to provide affordable health insurance for all Americans that provide more choices, better access and higher quality care” but he and his GOP colleagues have done nothing to promote that. Instead, members of the GOP have done everything they possibly can to repeal PPACA:
- HR 2: Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act
- HR105: Empowering Patients First Act
- HR 118: Stop the Federal Exchanges from Destroying States Act or the STOP the FEDS Act
- HR 119: Keep Out the IRS Act of 2011 (Let’s see, the GOP doesn’t want to use the IRS to have anything to do with enforcing anyone to purchase health insurance, but under HR3 they want to use the IRS to audit whether you used any health insurance dollars to cover expenses associated with an abortion … go figure???)
- HR 141: To deauthorize appropriation of funds to carry out the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
- HR 145: Revoke Excessive Policies that Encroach on American Liberties (REPEAL) Act
- HR 154: Defund the Individual Mandate Act
- HR 215: To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and title I of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 while preserving the reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.
- HR 299: To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, repeal the 7.5 percent threshold on the deduction for medical expenses, provide for increased funding for high-risk pools, allow acquiring health insurance across State lines, and allow for the creation of association health plans.
- HR334: Prevent IRS Overreach Act of 2011 (Here again, not OK to enforce PPACA, but it’s OK to audit for abortion coverage)
- HR364: Common Sense Health Reform Americans Actually Want Act: To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act …
- HR 397: Reform Americans Can Afford Act of 2011: To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 and …
- HR429: To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 and to amend title 5, United States Code, to establish a national health program administered by the Office of Personnel Management to offer Federal employee health benefits plans to individuals who are not Federal employees, and for other purposes.
- HR434: To prevent the Secretary of the Treasury from hiring new employees to enforce the individual health insurance mandate. (ditto on the IRS agents duties … see HR 119 and HR 334)
- HR 636: Affordable Health Care Expansion Act of 2011 : To repeal PPACA and the health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, and …
- HR 663: Save Our States Act : To delay the implementation of the health reform law until the Supreme Court determines the constitutionality of the individual mandate.
- HR 698: To deauthorize and rescind funding for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health-care-related provisions of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
- HR984: Health Care Waiver Fairness Act of 2011: To amend title I of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to provide for a process for waiver of requirements of that title where the requirement is asserted to otherwise result in a significant decrease in access to coverage or significant increase in premiums or other costs. (Okay … I’ve read this bill description a couple of times as well as the bill … and I’m not sure, from the way it’s worded, if the intent of the waivers is to “prevent” or “cause” decreases in access or increases in premiums.)
And there are even more bills that just tweak one or more provisions here and there. Take particular note of #13 above, proposed by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). If I’m not mistaken, wouldn’t that be the equivalent to a “government takeover of healthcare” in that it would be totally administered by Office of Personnel Management, a federal government organization????
Then there’s that frivolous lawsuit claim. Rep. Heller, like other members of the GOP, believes that if it weren’t for all those frivolous lawsuits, health care costs wouldn’t be driven so high. If he’d read the PPACA, he would know there are some provision addressing standards for healthcare that would spillover into the legal arena for assessing liability. Maybe he just doesn’t think that should be a component of healthcare tort reform. Regardless, wouldn’t you think there would be a frenzy of bills addressing healthcare tort reform in order to get prices down? Uhhhh, Mr. Heller … where’s all the legislative activity attacking healthcare tort reform? I can find only two semi-related bills:
- HR 896: Medical Justice Act of 2011: To provide health care liability reform, and for other purposes.
- HR816: Provider Shield Act of 2011: To prevent the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act from establishing health care provider standards of care in medical malpractice or medical product liability cases, and for other purposes.
I guess the GOP believes they wouldn’t need any standards for judging malpractice or product liability once they establish caps on the value of a human life via HR 896: “When an individual is injured or dies as the result of health care, a person entitled to non-economic damages may not recover, from the class of liable health care practitioners (regardless of the theory of liability), more than $250,000 such damages.”
Lastly, Rep. Heller may claim that he “believes the current health care law should be replaced with market based reforms that bring down the cost of health care, increases access, and provides the consumer with more choices,” but he’s done nothing to achieve that. Of the 10 bills or amendment Rep. Heller has introduced this session, not one has addressed market-based health care reforms with those aims. He did, however, vote to repeal the only heath care reform bill that has been enacted to address health care issues for ordinary Americans, and he did vote in the affirmative for HR1 which would defund or severely cut funding for a number of programs that provide health-related benefits for low income women and children.
Nope, I don’t think we need an Ensign-clone representing Nevada for yet another 6 years upon Ensign’s retirement. I, for one, am looking forward to a viable Democratic candidate who can absolutely trounce Mr. Heller at the polls.