Just over a month ago, Americans watched with some apprehension as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law. Time and again, taxpayers were promised that health care reform would slow the growth of health care costs for families, businesses and government. Although the dust has barely settled, new revelations about the impact of the act suggest that, despite the promises, it will increase health care costs for individuals, businesses and taxpayers.
Over the course of the last month, businesses across the country have reported that a single provision in the new law will have an immediate impact on their bottom line, costing them more than $3.4 billion. Major employers in our region, including AK Steel and Proctor and Gamble, announced that this provision in the new law will cost them $31 million and $150 million respectively, money that cannot be used for expansion and job creation.
On April 22, the nonpartisan actuaries at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services found that the government takeover of health care will actually increase national health care spending by $311 billion over the next ten years. They also reported that the $575 billion in Medicare cuts have the potential to jeopardize care for seniors, millions of Americans will lose their current health plan as a result of the act, and the bill could ultimately lead to long wait lines due to physician shortages.
In an effort to examine these alarming findings and allow Americans to hear what the new health care law means to them, my colleagues and I have asked for a public hearing in the Ways and Means Committee. In a letter to Chairman Sandy Levin, we requested a hearing with Richard Foster, Chief Actuary at CMS, to answer questions regarding the analysis. The Ways and Means Chairman’s office has responded that they “will keep it under consideration.” As of May 4, no action has been taken by Chairman Levin to hold a hearing on this troubling independent report on the impact of the new law.
As long as the health care law exists as is, the Medicare cuts will jeopardize seniors’ access to care, millions of Americans will be stripped of the health care coverage they chose, employers will have to divert resources from expansion and job creation to comply with the new law and everyone will suffer as costs continue to rise.
Americans deserve better. There are a few positive elements included in PPACA; however, hidden under the surface are provisions that will increase costs, cut Medicare and increase taxes on every American. I remain committed to protecting all Kentuckians’ freedom to choose the health care plan that best meets your needs. We must reform the new health care law and replace it with a better solution that will reduce health care spending.
U.S. Representative Geoff Davis
Read more at GeoffDavis.house.gov/healthcare.