Written by CCAGW
The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) today called upon Congress to reject any attempts to alter the nation's healthcare system using parliamentary gimmicks and urged members to vote against the bill. The letter, which was sent to the entire House of Representatives and can be viewed on CCAGW's website, reads as follows:
"On Christmas Eve morning, Senate Democrats managed to strong arm enough members with giveaways such as the 'Cornhusker Kickback' and 'Louisiana Purchase' to pass Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) healthcare bill.
This $2.3 trillion legislation, packed with tax increases, insurance mandates, Medicare cuts, and rationed care, will soon hit the House floor. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who lacks the necessary votes, will attempt to pass a rule offered by House Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) to establish a scheme by which the Senate-passed health care bill would be deemed as passed by the House without an actual up-or-down vote. On behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I urge you to oppose both the "Slaughter Rule" and the Reconciliation Act of 2010.
"The so-called 'Slaughter Solution' is nothing more than a deceptive and dishonest procedural maneuver that will excuse members from putting their name on a monstrous piece of legislation that has been rejected by Americans nationwide. CCAGW cautions all members of Congress: a vote for the 'Slaughter Solution' is a vote for the Senate healthcare bill.
"Under the Senate-passed healthcare bill, Americans will be forced to shoulder the burden of new taxes, penalties and higher insurance premiums. Small businesses will be hindered by stringent regulations and taxes that will ultimately force them to slash jobs.
"Seniors will see their Medicare benefits significantly reduced, resulting in limited choices and higher costs. While Medicare will be cut, Medicaid will be expanded, despite the fact that the program is going broke and states are struggling to keep up with the expiring federal matching program. Imposing an unfunded mandate will only exacerbate Medicaid's problems.
"Mandating coverage would provide a huge incentive for employers to drop health insurance since the tax penalty would be less expensive than the cost of providing coverage. Thousands of Americans will lose their current health insurance and move to the government-run plan. Additionally, imposing an individual mandate will penalize Americans who genuinely cannot afford to pay for health insurance.
"The Senate-passed healthcare legislation will unquestionably burden Americans with countless mandates, taxes and regulations and would be a stepping stone toward total government control of the nation's healthcare system.
"Some members of Congress have vowed to 'fix' these many problems using reconciliation. However, using after-the-fact 'sidecar' budgetary amendments to alter one-sixth of the American economy is not an appropriate use of power. The Reconciliation Act will do nothing to improve the Senate healthcare bill. In fact, it increases the cost and complexity of the Senate-passed bill, and does nothing to stop the government takeover of healthcare.
"There are many problems with the nation's current healthcare system that can be rectified through medical liability reform, pooling health insurance, offering tax incentives, allowing states to customize programs, and reforming insurance regulations. Forcing a government takeover of healthcare, especially through parliamentary gimmicks, will not solve America's healthcare problems, it will only exacerbate them.
"Members of Congress cannot hide behind irresponsible procedural tricks. All votes on the 'Slaughter Rule,' the Senate-passed healthcare bill, and the Reconciliation."
CCAGW is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation's largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.