LLPH urges all members of the Senate and House to vote NO on H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. This bill is expected to be voted on in the House tomorrow and very soon in the Senate.
The Club for Growth states,
For the past decade and a half, Congress has routinely passed “doc fix” bills that increased reimbursements to health care providers in the face of scheduled cuts. These fixes papered over the well-intended Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula that tried to tamp down health care costs, but was extremely flawed. In any legislation replacing the SGR formula, the Club’s top concern is that it is fully paid for with sensible reforms. Unfortunately, this bill falls woefully short of that goal. News reports state that the 10-year cost of the new bill is $200 billion, of which only $70 billion will be offset. Part of this huge price tag is a 2-year extension of CHIP, a program that should be terminated. Worse, a cost estimate by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget suggests this bill will add $400 billion to the national debt over 20 years. All of this, of course, assumes that Congress will abide by the $70 billion offset. But we consider it far from certain that they will.
Republicans were given both chambers of Congress to CUT OUR DEBT, NOT INCREASE IT!
Conservative Review states,
This legislative dynamic essentially sums up Republican governance over the past few decades. In word and campaign rhetoric they talk a good conservative game; in deed they join with Democrats to grow government.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is putting the finishing touches on the $210 billion health care spending plan, which would replace with current “SGR” federal reimbursement scheme for Medicare providers with a new system. Everyone agrees that under the current broken single-payer Medicare system costs have grown out of control and have engendered a need to better compensate health care providers for treating Medicare patients. However, it is better to pass a short-term rate increase with spending offsets than to pass a permanent bill that is not fully offset and contains no structural free market reforms to address the root cause of price inflation in Medicare.
Worse, this plan adds in a full two-year reauthorization of the SCHIP welfare program without any reforms, which as we noted, should be terminated altogether in light of the Medicaid expansion and Obamacare.
At present, the federal government spends roughly $920 billion on health care programs ($527 billion on Medicare) – 76% more than our base defense budget. That cost is already set to explode with the full implementation of Obamacare in the next few years.
Every Republican rails against profligate spending and the entitlement culture, yet they are now set to add a net $140 billion in health care spending over the next 10 years and $400 billion over the next 20 years – all with full bipartisan cooperation.
Republicans were not given a majority in Congress to increase spending, reauthorize wasteful and unconstitutional programs, nor pass fake offsets to pretend they are being fiscally responsible. LLPH urges a STRONG NO vote against this bill which is expected to be voted on tomorrow or Thursday.