To the Editor:
With the recent passage of H.R. 2, commonly referred to as "the Repeal Bill," many have asked about my vote and my willingness to speak out against "Obamacare."
As I campaigned throughout the 8th Congressional District last year, I made it a point to speak out against the comprehensive takeover of the health care industry. As a physician, I was deeply troubled by many provisions, including one that cut $500 billion from Medicare and could potentially limit access for seniors to quality care. Also troubling was the cost of the bill that did nothing to address the major issue in health care -- rising costs.
Last week, Medicare Chief Actuary Richard Foster testified in front of the House Budget Committee and admitted that the law will unlikely hold down costs and will not let all individuals keep their current plans if they like them -- two central promises of the legislation.
Also, on Jan. 26, 2011, the department of Health and Human Services released an updated list of 733 waivers to the annual limits provision granted to employers and organizations, in which almost 40 percent of the individuals protected are unions. This is equal to 860,000 of the 14.6 million union employees nationwide, or 1 in every 17. Why would anyone need a waiver if this were such a good law and what did the unions do to get their special treatment?
Additionally, on Jan. 31, 2011, a Federal Judge in the District Court of Northern Florida ruled the individual mandate unconstitutional, in agreement with an earlier ruling by a Federal Judge in Virginia. The Florida ruling also declared the entire law void due to its reliance on the individual mandate provision.
These rulings state the federal government exceeded the bounds of their power by including the individual mandate.
As a physician, I know the status quo is not acceptable. As your Congressman, I know we must work to provide real reforms that do not limit the access to quality care and also reduce costs. As a member of the Education and the Workforce Committee, I will be involved in the crafting of replacement legislation that will do just that.
There are many commonsense health reform provisions that all Americans can agree on. Like covering those with preexisting conditions and removing lifetime caps, and we should enact those in a bi-partisan manner.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact me. I have offices in Evansville and Terre Haute, in addition to the office in Washington, D.C. You can visit my website, bucshon.house.gov, to e-mail me or call any of the offices to speak with a member of my staff.
I also look forward to visiting with you during the District Work Weeks, where I will often hold office hours, listening sessions and town hall meetings.
I look forward to hearing from you and I look forward to representing your voice in Washington, D.C.
U.S. Representative, Indiana 8th District