• Special to the Daily Leader
Sen. Roberts issues statement on final passage of Reid Health Care Bill
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts made the following statement on the Reid Health Care bill:
“I voted against the Reid Health Care bill because it will raise taxes in a struggling economy, cut Medicare by half a billion dollars and do nothing to reduce the costs of health care for hardworking Americans. And finally, it will not ensure that all those in need have access to care.
“The bill was written behind closed doors, chalk full of backroom deals that favor certain states over others in a blatant effort to buy votes with taxpayer dollars. All to pass legislation a majority of Kansans fear will threaten the quality and cost of their health care.
“Worse, the bill uses budget gimmicks – taxing us now while promising huge benefits. Well, there is a catch, folks — the benefits won’t kick in for four years but the taxes, fees and fines start when the President signs the bill.
“Now the Senate must merge this bill — with in my view, an even worse House bill. And again the bill will disappear behind closed doors – a shameful process that makes a mockery of open and representative government.
“I said before this bill was like an old socialized medicine pick-up with a lot of barbed wire wrapped around the axle. Well now the Majority wants to sell it to the American people like a shiny new F150.
“There will be a lot of serious problems that are going to endanger the health care we have in Kansas. I am particularly concerned with the cost, problems with access to care, rationing of care and enforcement by the Internal Revenue Service.
“Now we will have a lot of work to do to prevent and fix the damages that will endanger our health care. To do that we need to get back to bipartisan cooperation. I seek your advice and help.”
Roberts is a member of the Senate Committee on Finance, and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. He is Co-Chairman of the Senate Rural Health Caucus.
• Special to the Daily Leader
Moran’s statement opposing Reid’s Health Care Bill
HAYS — Congressman Jerry Moran commented Thursday on H.R. 3590, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s health care reform bill, which passed the Senate by a 60-39 vote on Christmas Eve. Moran opposes this bill.
“I am extremely disappointed that Senate Democrats have passed legislation, which will undoubtedly affect every American, based on personal handouts and political payoffs,” Moran said. “Instead of working to rationally address the problems in our current health care system, Majority Leader Reid has chosen to piece together an overhaul of our entire system through sweetheart backroom deals for Senate Democrat holdouts and vote-peddling. I cannot remember a time when such a major bill has been passed through the Senate in such an unseemly and purely political manner. This is not how the Senate—‘America’s great deliberative body’ — is supposed to do our nation’s business. At a time when Congress should be working to reduce health care costs and increase accessibility for families, seniors and small businesses, I am outraged that the writing of this bill has been driven by deal-making instead of reasonable public policy.
“Majority Leader Reid was unapologetic in admitting that a number of states are treated differently than others under this bill and that his deal-making is what legislating is all about. I disagree with the Majority Leader. Cutting backroom deals that benefit Nebraska, Louisiana and Florida will heap excessive burdens and costs on Kansans. True legislating is not about satisfying narrow, political interests and handing out political favors in return for votes.
“Health care reform must make quality coverage more affordable and more accessible for Americans and allow those who like their current coverage to keep it. Unfortunately, this bill will not accomplish these objectives.”
Moran is Chairman of the House Rural Health Care Coalition and co-founder of the Congressional Community Pharmacy Coalition.