Issues | Health Care

Health Care is something that affects us all.  Decisions that we make today will affect future generations; there is no easy fix.  We must get this right.

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: I strongly oppose the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and feel it would create a new government-run health plan.  While I was not a member of Congress when this legislation passed the House, I believe it creates nothing more than a step toward a single payer system of government-controlled health care. A government-run health plan would compete with the private market on an uneven playing field and would result in millions of Americans losing the private coverage that they have today while imposing higher costs on individuals and families that are able to maintain their private insurance.  This legislation is a prime example of big government interfering in our private lives.  

Device Tax Repeal: There is a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that accesses a 2.3% sales tax on medical devices.  While this number seems small, for most companies this could result in as high as a 15% tax on their earnings on top of federal, state, and local taxes which hover around the 39% range.  This tax would become effective in 2013, forcing orthopedic companies to make difficult decisions on reducing research and development and U.S. capital investment.  I am most concerned that if this tax is not repealed, it could result in significant job loss.  This would be devastating to Warsaw, where one third of the world’s medical devices are made, bringing in revenues of approximately $10 billion annually.  The industry as whole employs over 6,500 Hoosiers with high-paying jobs.  It is extremely important to me to protect this industry from government over regulation and taxation, and therefore protect Hoosier jobs.  H.R. 436, the Protect Medical Innovation Act, repeals this provision of PPACA.  I am working hard to gain support for this legislation.

Medicare: With the creation of Medicare in 1965, the United States made a commitment to help fund the medical care of elderly Americans without exhausting their life savings.  This commitment was meant to respect the pride Americans take in work, independence, and the fulfillment of their responsibilities to self and family.  Over many years, Medicare has become threatened by out-of-control costs and has drawn largely from general revenues placing a dangerously tremendous strain on the financial prosperity of the Unites States.  I do not feel it is right for Congress to cling to an unsustainable status quo with respect to America's health programs.  Unless Congress fixes what is broken in Medicare without breaking what is working, the program will end up causing exactly what it was created to avoid- American seniors without health security.

Medicaid: Medicaid was created in 1965 and was originally designed as a limited safety net program for low-income Americans.  It has grown from its original origins into a public health insurance program as well as the predominant long-term care program for elderly and individuals with disabilities.  Unlike Medicare which has a simple age requirement, Medicaid is a means-tested, state-operated program providing health and long-term services and support to certain people who are unable to afford private insurance or pay out-of-pocket for services.  States make their own rules in regards to Medicaid, making it essentially 56 different programs that operate within federal parameters.  States can opt into Medicaid and those that do must provide Mandatory Services to receive a Federal match of 50 to 75 percent.  In its first year, 5 million people were enrolled in the program.  Today, 56 million people are enrolled at a total cost of $404 billion.  

As I stated above, health care affects every man, woman, and child in the United States regardless of race, sex, or income.  It is important that I hear from Hoosiers about their health care concerns as I work to represent Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District.