|March 21, 2010: Congressman Wittman Statement on Healthcare Reform Vote|
Washington D.C. – This evening, Congressman Rob Wittman released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the Senate’s version of the healthcare reform bill (H.R. 3590) by a vote of 219-212 and the Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872) by a vote of: 220-211.
“This evening a bipartisan group of the House of Representatives voted against the Senate’s healthcare bill and the House “fix” to the Senate bill. The fact that this reform bill had to be passed on a Sunday, after much arm twisting and influence, is indicative of the fact that this is a flawed bill on many levels. This bill was put together behind closed doors and away from the full and open view of the American people. As a result, we had a bill before us which was full of sweetheart deals and elements unsavory to a majority of my constituents and the American public. Finally, there are no guarantees that the “fix” will be passed intact by the Senate as part of the reconciliation process, leaving the current Senate bill unchanged.
“The bill does not protect the TRICARE benefits our servicemembers were promised when they volunteered for duty, thus breaking an agreement they made in good faith. We also know that this bill raises $52 billion in taxes on small businesses which create 70% of the new jobs each year across our nation, and upon which we’re relying to rebuild our economy. Additionally, this bill cuts $528.5 billion from Medicare, an action which Doug Elmendorf, the Director of the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office said could ‘reduce access to care or diminish the quality of care’. Lastly, this bill will add over $1 trillion to our national deficit, when we are already spending at levels we've never before seen and when each and every American is saddled with more than $40,000 in federal debt.
“Since my election to serve the people of the First Congressional District, I’ve made healthcare reform a priority. One of my first outreach efforts was to create a Healthcare Advisory Council. I then held numerous town hall meetings and met with healthcare providers across the District. My constituents and I agree that we need healthcare reform that increases access and portability of care while reducing costs. Instead, we’ve passed a bill which does not reduce costs and adds hundreds of billions to the federal deficit.”
Congressman Rob Wittman represents the First District of Virginia. He was elected to his first full term in November 2008 and serves on the Natural Resources Committee and the Armed Services Committee where he is the Ranking Member of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.