Representative Gene Taylor responds to health care vote - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Representative Gene Taylor responds to health care vote

By Jeff Daley

HATTIESBURG MS, (WDAM) - U.S. Representative Gene Taylor says he will continue to oppose the health care bill passed by the house on Sunday. 

In a statement Taylor said, 

"I voted against H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, on November 7, 2009 and I will continue to oppose this legislation in the House.  The House passed the bill by a vote of 220-215. During House consideration, I voted for the Stupak amendment, which prohibits federal funds from paying for abortions or from subsidizing health insurance plans that would cover abortions. The House passed the Stupak amendment by a vote of 240-194.

Taxpayers cannot afford a new federal health insurance program. The government already provides Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs to provide medical care for senior citizens, people with disabilities, and others who have substantial medical needs. Our nation also has an obligation to provide medical coverage for veterans, active-duty military and their dependents, National Guard and Reserve personnel, and military retirees. With the national debt in excess of $12 trillion and projected to grow far into the future, I believe that Congress should focus on fulfilling the promises that have already been made rather than make new promises that we cannot afford.

There are several ways to make health care more efficient without increasing costs and without creating a whole new government program.

I strongly support efforts to allow the government to use their purchasing power to negotiate directly with drug manufacturers when buying prescription drugs for beneficiaries enrolled the Medicare Part D Program. Negotiating prices with insurance companies would help to ensure that taxpayers are paying the best available price and that tax dollars are spent wisely without reducing coverage or affecting the individuals enrolled in Medicare Part D. In 2008, the government spent about $49 billion on Medicare Part D drugs. If the government could save even 10% by negotiating directly with drug companies, taxpayers would save nearly $4.9 billion.

The government should purchase generic drugs instead of more expensive alternatives, unless the prescribing physician says that a name brand drug is medically necessary. On average, generic drugs cost 1/10th of the cost of their name brand equivalent.

I am a cosponsor of H.R. 1583, legislation to repeal the insurance industry's antitrust  exemption. The health care bill that passed the House included a repeal of antitrust laws only for the health care industry. While this is important, I firmly believe that repealing antitrust laws from the entire insurance industry would force insurers to compete with one another in a competitive market on the basis of price, service, and value.  I strongly supported the bill that passed in the House which repealed the exemption of antitrust laws for the health care insurance industry.

I am also in favor of proposals that would allow individuals to continue to be covered under their parents' insurance plan until they reach the age of 27.

I would like to remind you that I do not support creating a whole new health care program, but I do support smaller reforms to make the current system more effective for taxpayers and consumers.  Again, I voted against the health care bill that passed the House, and I will oppose this bill."


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