America's independent, non-partisan advocate for overburdened taxpayers.


Support Legislation to Halt Runaway Mandatory Spending in Health Reform
An Open Letter to the United States Congress

March 31, 2011

Dear Member of Congress:

     On behalf of the 362,000 members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I urge you to support legislative efforts to eliminate costly hidden mandates contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).  

     Recently, the Congressional Research Service uncovered tens of billions in advanced appropriations in PPACA. By creating mandatory programs which remain on the books automatically, year after year, PPACA makes if far more difficult for future Presidents and to control spending. At a time when our deficit has reached a historic high of $1.65 trillion we cannot afford any covert attempts to put spending on autopilot and out of the purview of the annual appropriations process. This outrageous power grab not only weakens Congressional oversight, but could also undermine a key element of the policymaking process: the ability of citizens, working with current lawmakers, to adapt previously passed laws to new fiscal and political realities.

     To solve these problems we urge you to support each of the following five bills:

  • H.R. 1213: Strike the unlimited funds given to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide grants to states in order to set up healthcare exchanges;
  • H.R. 1214: Repeal mandatory funding for the construction of school based health centers ;
  • H.R. 1215: Convert the direct appropriation to the Personal Responsibility Education Program into an authorization to be determined through the normal appropriations process;
  • H.R. 1216: Allow grants given to new primary care residency programs in teaching hospitals to be studied and funded through the appropriations process in order to eliminate duplicative spending; and
  • H.R. 1217: Eliminate the Prevention and Public Health fund allowing the Secretary of HHS to grant additional money to programs above what Congress appropriates.

     Rescinding these PPACA provisions is essential to protecting taxpayers’ money from runaway expenditures that have the potential to elude Congressional oversight. NTU encourages all House members to work toward passage of these bills, each of which will be significantly weighted in our annual Rating of Congress.


Brandon Greife
Federal Government Affairs Manager