Thursday, December 24, 2009

Chambliss: This Bill is a Political Victory, Not a Substantive One

U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., today made the following statement regarding the Senate health care bill, which now costs $2.5 trillion, is 2,733 pages long, and includes $518.5 billion in tax increases and $470.7 billion in Medicare cuts.

“I am supportive of reforming health care so that all Americans have access to affordable, quality care. However, a bill created by backroom deal-making, partisan arm-twisting and special carve-outs for wavering senators does not represent meaningful reform.

“The already-strained budgets of individuals, families and small businesses will be pushed to the breaking point by the increase in taxes and increased costs for medical devices and medicine. The health care industry itself will also feel more than $100 billion in taxes and fees, which will be shifted directly to the American people in the form of higher premiums.

“Over the past few weeks, several amendments were offered to strip the Medicare cuts and cuts to other critical health care programs, but unfortunately, those votes fell along party lines and the amendments failed. Several other amendments to improve the bill, like a tort reform measure I introduced, weren’t even allowed to be called up for a vote.

“The process used to get this bill to 60 votes was unlike anything I had never seen before. Deals were cut behind closed doors for individual senators and their states at the expense of taxpayers across the nation – and that’s just not right. The majority leader also made a compromise on abortion – where, morally, there can be no compromise – to get his 60th vote.

“And after all this, the health care bill does not even cover everyone. Some 23 million Americans will still be left uninsured.

“Americans are right to demand access to affordable health care. But the Senate bill is bad legislation. It is a political victory – not a substantive one – that will actually make health care more expensive.

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