October 27, 2009 WASHINGTON - U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield (KY-01) took to the floor of the House of Representatives today to call for a bipartisan approach to healthcare reform and highlight many of the dangers of the proposals currently being considered in Congress.
"There are provisions of the leadership's healthcare bill we support, like taking care of the pre-existing condition problem. But we oppose cutting Medicare by $500 billion over 10 years. We oppose taking $155 billion out of the hospital account. We oppose reducing Medicare Advantage by $123 billion. We oppose putting a surtax on thousands of small businessmen and women. We oppose individuals being penalized 2.5% of their gross income if they do not buy a policy. We oppose requiring employers to pay 8% of the gross wages of their employees if they do not provide insurance. And then after all of that, we still need $200 billion to pay for this expensive healthcare bill. Those on this side of the aisle are willing to work with those on the other side of the aisle if they would simply open the door."
Whitfield, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, noted that most Members of Congress have largely been shut out of the legislative process in determining the contents of sweeping healthcare reform legislation. The Congressman, along with many of his colleagues in the minority in Congress, have offered numerous amendments, bills and proposals that would improve access to quality, affordable healthcare without adding to the deficit, but these efforts have largely been rejected by House leaders.
Whitfield has been an outspoken critic of the healthcare bill being considered in the House, H.R. 3200, the America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009. The Congressman has said he is concerned the bill could decrease the quality of care Kentuckians receive, hamstring small business owners in the midst of an economic recession and increase the already sky-high national debt
You can view a video of the Congressman speaking at http://www.youtube.com/WhitfieldKY01