Health issues affect us all and determining the best means of addressing them is an important part of my work in Congress.
Congressman Garrett believes we need meaningful health care reform that decreases costs, increases accessibility and improves on what is already the best health care system in the world. The Democrats’ government takeover of our nation’s health care system does none of these things. Instead, it passes on billions of dollars in costs to taxpayers, hurts small businesses, destroys American jobs, limits access to doctors, raises premiums and violates the U.S. Constitution.
While pushing their bill through Congress, Democrats claimed that it would reduce the deficit, but this claim rests on a number of wildly unrealistic assumptions. When Democrats touted their government takeover, they used budgetary gimmicks to mask the true costs of the law, including: 1.) Paying for six years of benefits with 10 years of taxes; 2.) Raiding the Social Security trust fund of $53 billion; 3.) Double counting savings in Medicare; 4.) Disregarding the increased administrative costs of running these new programs; 5.) Double counting $70 billion in premiums for a new long-term care entitlement that will later have to be used to pay for benefits; and 6.) Relying on unrealistic Medicare cuts.
America is already starting to feel the effects of this misguided government takeover of health care and the ways in which it is fundamentally altering the relationship between citizens and government. The Democrats’ health care law is seriously jeopardizing our nation’s long-term prosperity, diminishing the vitality of our nation’s health care innovators, restricting choice and access to medical care for millions of our nation’s elderly and poor, and taxing hundreds of billions of dollars out of the economy during one of the most serious economic downturns in our country’s history. Destroys Jobs At a time when our economy is still recovering from the effects of the economic downturn, the Democrats health care law adds even more uncertainty to our already shaky economy. Many economists estimate that businesses are holding over $2 trillion in capital on the sidelines as a direct result of the costs and regulations associated with the Democrats’ health care law. Like most Americans, Congressman Garrett believes we need to be liberating American small businesses from intrusive government regulations and mandates so they can be allowed to grow and create jobs.
Constitutionality and the Individual Mandate
At its core, this law violates the Constitution of the United States. While Congress is given power under the Constitution to regulate interstate commerce, never before in the history of our country have we passed legislation requiring individuals to purchase a private – government approved – product as the price of citizenship. If Congress has this authority under the Constitution, then there is virtually no limit to Washington’s power to micromanage the lives of American citizens. Congressman Garrett believes the individual mandate moves far beyond regulating economic activity and into the realm of regulating inactivity. As Founder and Chairman of the Congressional Constitution Caucus, Congressman Garrett is determined to repeal the individual mandate, which is why he has introduced H.R. 21, the Reclaiming Individual Liberty Act, which would strip the unconstitutional individual mandate.
Replacing with Real Reform
While Congressman Garrett stands firm in his opposition to Democrats’ government takeover of health care, he does believe our country needs enact real reform to our nation’s health care system. He believes in a systematic approach to health care reform – reform that sets our nation on a prudent fiscal path without violating the U.S. Constitution. Congressman Garrett’s proposal for health care reform includes:
- Enacting real medical liability reform;
- Allowing individuals to purchase insurance across state lines;
- Allowing individuals to purchase insurance through groups and trade associations;
- Allowing small businesses to band together to purchase insurance;
- Eliminating discrimination in the tax code by allowing individuals to deduct insurance premiums.
Having voted to repeal the job-destroying health care bill at the start of the 112th Congress, Garrett understands how important it is that Republicans offer alternative solutions to reforming health care in the United States. He is committed to replacing the Democrats’ government takeover of health care with real reforms that do not come at the expense of American jobs and long-term economic prosperity.