Yesterday was a sad day in American history. Despite the objections of the vast majority of Americans – many of whom travelled to Washington, DC this weekend to protest this dangerous bill – President Obama and Speaker Pelosi convinced enough House Democrats to bypass the will of the people and pass this unprecedented government takeover of America’s health care system.
As I said on the House floor last night, there is no question that America needs health care reform, but this bill will make things worse – not better – for the citizens of our great nation. This bill will increase premiums for working families, raise taxes on small businesses, and cut Medicare for seniors. It will also cost $938 billion at a time when government spending is already out of control and the national debt is at $12 trillion. And it will put tremendous strains on our private health care system while eroding the freedom and choices of the American individual.
During the past year, President Obama and Speaker Pelosi chose to focus on health care – not the economy – even while 3 million Americans were losing their jobs. The end result of this process is a flawed bill that will kill even more jobs, prolong our economic slump, and saddle our children and grandchildren with more debt. None of this had to happen. There was a better way. And I will continue to advocate for common-sense, market-based solutions that will increase health care access and lower costs – all without raising taxes or increasing the deficit.
Let there be no mistake: With the passage of this bill, America has become less like itself and more like a European welfare state. This transformation will have terrible consequences in the relationship between citizen and state – including a loss of freedom, innovation, and quality of life. And yet, we should be encouraged to know this isn’t the final chapter in this debate. At the first opportunity, we will repeal this bill, pass a better bill, and win our country back.
Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers represents the fifth district of Washington State. She is also the Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference, the highest ranking woman among House Republicans.
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