Thompson Votes `No’ on Pelosi Health Care Takeover

Nov 10, 2009

Washington, D.C.—U. S. Rep Glenn "GT" Thompson, R-Howard, Saturday voted "No" on the health care bill that passed the House of Representatives, 220-215.

"As I read through the measure, which I promised to do - all 2,000-plus pages of it, I became increasingly disturbed by the level of control this measure will put in the hands of a new federal Health Choices Commissioner," said Thompson.

"I came to Washington to help address some of our health care problems and I believe that any changes should include better access, affordability, quality and patient choice. As a health care professional for almost 30 years, as I read through this bill, my conclusion was that the Pelosi bill actually made each of those things worse instead of better.
"This bill costs $1.3 trillion and imposes taxes on small businesses and individuals. It taxes medical equipment like wheelchairs, it cuts Medicare by some $500 billion and shifts many new people onto Medicaid rolls at a huge cost to state budgets," Thompson said.

"There is a section of the bill that addresses people most at-risk because they have pre-existing conditions. Section 101 of the bill establishes a $5 billion subsidy to help those who have a hard time qualifying for insurance. But when you read further in the bill you find out that the Secretary of Health and Human Services has the right to increase premiums on these people, decrease benefits and create waiting lists if there isn't enough money to cover everything. That sounds like rationing to me," Thompson said.

Another subject in the bill that doesn't work is SCHIP the State Children's Health Insurance Program that was modeled after Pennsylvania's Children's Health Insurance Program. The SCHIP measure passed the Congress and was signed into law in February by President Obama. Thompson voted for the measure. The Pelosi bill wipes out the Children's Health Insurance Program.

"What I don't understand is the Democrat leadership under Nancy Pelosi pushed SCHIP reauthorization in January. Yet with this vote the House is going to scrap the program to the detriment of Pennsylvania's most needy children. How is this better than the existing program?" Thompson asked.

"The measure I supported would have addressed medical liability tort reform, allowed small businesses that it would not kill jobs while it made healthcare more affordable," Thompson said. "The Congressional Budget Office looked at the bill I supported and wrote that it will lower premiums by up to 10 percent and reduce the deficit by $68 billion over 10 years without imposing tax increases on families and small businesses. But the majority voted it down by a vote of 258 to 176."

The amendment that would prevent federal funds from being used to pay for abortions passed by a vote of 240 to 194.