Monday, February 22, 2010

Gerlach criticizes return of Obamacare

U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District) issued the following statement Monday after the White House outlined its health care reform proposal that the American people have already rejected:
"After the House and Senate crafted legislation in secret last year, the American people demanded a second opinion on health care reform," Gerlach said. "But the White House proposal offers the same $1 trillion prescription that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have been trying unsuccessfully to get the American people to swallow.

"While I am pleased the President has proposed removing the sweetheart deal known as the 'Cornhusker Kickback' for Nebraska, it is disappointing that higher taxes and more invasive government remain the backbone of this plan," Gerlach added. "Workers would pay a new tax on employer-provided health insurance and payroll taxes would climb under the White House plan. The constituents in my district – along with most Americans -- have made it clear that approach is unacceptable."

The New York Times reported that under the White House plan, a family earning about $88,000 a year would pay as much as 9.5 percent of their income toward annual health insurance premiums, or about $8,380 annually. That does not include out-of-pocket costs, such as co-payments or deductibles, according to the paper. And The Morning Call of Allentown cited a statewide poll showing 60 percent of Pennsylvanians want to scrap the House and Senate proposals and consider alternatives. In addition, a majority do not support the government requiring every citizen to buy health insurance.
Gerlach is a co-sponsor of a bipartisan proposal – known as the Small Business Options Health (SHOP) Act – that would increase competition among insurers by allowing consumers to purchase policies across state lines and permitting small businesses to form statewide pools to buy coverage for their employees.

Gerlach also supports the House Republican Medical Rights and Reform Act, which includes provisions to end costly lawsuit abuse and allows doctors and patients to continuing making decisions about the best treatments.

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