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Failure of Health Bill Repeal Means Setback, Not Stalemate, For Taxpayers
February 3, 2011
By Douglas Kellogg
Hot on the heels of the Senate’s failure to fully repeal the mammoth 2010 health care reform bill, Andrew Moylan, Vice President of Government Affairs for the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU) offered the following statement:
While taxpayers welcomed the Senate’s vote to ditch the health care bill’s unfair tax reporting burdens on small businesses, they are justifiably disappointed that the Senate wouldn’t repeal the rest of the deeply flawed legislation. Undoing the fiscal damage of the past several years won’t come easily or quickly.
The failure to roll back the so-called ‘Patient Protection and Affordable Care’ act in its entirety still leaves taxpayers on the hook for a whopping $540 billion in spending and more than $750 billion in taxes over the next decade. Not only has the legislation greatly contributed to a record turnover in the House of Representatives, it has been challenged by 26 states, and has been deemed unconstitutional by two federal judges – the most recent decision by a U.S. District Court judge in Florida voiding the entire legislation. The bill likewise violates President Obama’s pledge to not raise taxes on anyone earning less than $250,000 per year, even as he grants waivers to politically favored entities.
Despite all the momentum against the bill, the Senate majority has decided to push health care forward. That’s why Congress must redouble its efforts toward getting rid of this terribly destructive law, if not in its entirety, then in bits and pieces. This means doing away with tax increases, finishing the job in the House of eliminating the onerous 1099 reporting requirements, and defunding portions of the bill.
The very first action Congress should now take is to legislate a moratorium on further implementation of the health care bill. It is a waste of taxpayer money to go forward with this health care package while it faces constitutional challenges and is mired in court cases throughout the states.
At the same time, lawmakers must begin working on fiscally responsible alternatives that will reduce health care costs and not further burden the American people and small businesses. These include allowing people to purchase insurance across state lines and medical tort reform. The latter proposal recently got the nod from President Obama himself. This setback should not be regarded as a reason for stalemate.
Taxpayers want positive action to improve both the quality and the fiscal sustainability of the health care system, and it is up to both parties in Congress to deliver.