Goodlatte: We Shouldn’t Put Health Care in the Hands of Washington Bureaucrats

Guest post by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA06)

Earlier this week Democratic Leaders in Congress introduced the “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act”, which sets the tone for a Washington takeover of the health care system —one defined by federal regulation, mandates, a myriad of new big government programs, and a significant increase in federal spending.

A recent poll, which was released at the beginning of July, indicates that Americans by a margin of 2:1 think a government takeover of health care would be a “bad thing”. Unfortunately, the Democratic leadership is not listening to the American people and they are pushing legislation which only offers more of what is wrong with the current system.

At least two different independent analyses of the House Democrats health care legislation estimate that more than 100 million Americans would lose their current health care coverage. In addition to losing their health insurance, Americans are going to lose control over their health care decisions. Under the Democrats vision, Washington would have ultimate control over what is best for patients, what treatments are acceptable, and how long patients wait for needed care.

Additionally, this misguided health care legislation is estimated to cost the federal government as much as $1.5 trillion. In fact, Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Elmendorf testified before the House Ways and Means Committee that “the coverage proposals in this legislation would expand federal spending on health care to a significant degree.” He went on to say that in CBO’s analysis so far, they didn’t see other provisions in the legislation reducing federal health spending by a corresponding degree.

To pay for this massive new government expansion the legislation contains $820 billion in new job-killing tax increases imposed on certain income filers, a majority of whom are small businesses, even while the country remains in a serious recession. Struggling middle class families need jobs, and small businesses can not afford to hire more workers while paying higher taxes. It’s simple – people want to focus on creating jobs, not raising taxes. For this reason the National Retail Federation, which represents one in five American workers, the National Federation of Independent Business, which represents over 350,000 small and independent businesses, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Manufacturers all strongly oppose the current health care reform legislation.

While we can all agree that our current health care system is flawed there are many different ideas about how to fix it. Republicans have solutions that will empower patients with choices, make high quality coverage more affordable, and protect and preserve the doctor-patient relationship. The most important principles in health care reform are holding down costs and preserving consumer choices. We already spend far more per person than any other country in the world. Reform must mean using the health care dollars we now spend in a smarter, more effective way. We should be preserving and enhancing the ability of people to choose the plans that are tailored to their needs and the doctors that they trust to guide them, not putting more power in the hands of Washington bureaucrats.

  • Steve Vaughan

    Instead we should keep in the hand of insurance company bureaucrats?

  • Louis Adendorff

    I would like to see a system where the control is taken out of the hands of the insurance bureaucrats, out of the control of the medical and drug companies and returned into the hands of ,”We the People…” Unfortunately, in the day that politicians were supposed to remember us, they chose greed over justice and they chose personal power over the Constitution. I am NOT against free enterprise and our Federal system of government. I AM against the blatant abuse of these principles disguised as democracy in the name of the government coming to help us.

  • Dick Hopkins

    We do not need another big bureaucracy that will waste more of our money. I think we need a Co-op where there is no profit except to those that belong.

  • Jane Taylor

    You get an education or job training. You get a job. You either buy health coverage or your employer helps pay for it. See how that works? More jobs=more liquid assets=more money to buy health coverage. Less illegal persons in our country on the government dole=more Social Security benifits for those who pay/paid into it. Congress, working for the people, not for themselves=happy citizens. Congress should pay into Social Security and be limited to 2 terms in office. Also, we should reduce their power to vote themselves raises and benifits. And while we’re at it, dispose of the electoral college.

  • Dianne Thompson

    When the OBAMA Health Care plan costs more than private insurance via taxes, we are screwed.

    When 31 new agencies have to be created to get it started! Trillions of dollars in cost payed for by taxing the people.
    You will not have an option, when your healthcare plan is changed by rate (which goes up every year) or and sublety you HAVE to join the government plan
    If you are over 60 and as Obama said “Maybe you don’t want that expensive surgery” YOU DIE
    If you have a disease or precondition the Government plan will not cover you. THEN WHAT! YOU DIE

    This plan amounts to HITLERESQUE style of eliminating the weak and older folks. Just anesthestize the old folks and send them down the shute. How about that child with Cerebral Palsy, etc.?


    Right now every hospital emergency room has to treat you regardless of you ability to pay. Why do we need to destroy FREE ENTERPRISE THAT MADE US GREAT, and FORCE TAX PAYMENT ON THE PEOPLE FOR ALL THE BLUNDERING COST OF A GOVERNMENT THAT CAN’T RUN SOCIAL SECURITY OR MEDICARE?

    We did not get to be the greatest nation on earth by being SOCIALIST, MARXIST or VOTING IN DICTATORS.

  • Jean Butler

    Since we are already spending money for health care for those not insured, take that money and use it to concentrate on the uninsured and leave the reat of us alone.

  • The Michael Stone family

    Right on.

  • Patricia

    Thank you, Mr. Goodlatte for standing up for the people. If people would do some research, I don’t think they would continue to blindly follow the current leadership.

  • the bill is good, because i want the people all have ins. the trouble with it is the insurance co. put a cap on them.

  • Chuck in Roanoke

    I agree with Dianne Thompson. No one in this country is denied medical care; those who can’t afford it simply go to the emergency room or free clinic. We DON’T need the government to be messing in (actually messing UP) medical care; just take a look at Medicare with its wasted money and corruption. This bill must, and will, die. Pete Floyd, take your head out of the sand and look at to see the true picture.

  • Mary Dodge

    I have a serious health problem that would keep me at home, unable to work, if it were not for the wonderful doctors who help me to keep it in hand. I work full-time and pay for insurance through my employer. Otherwise, I would be pulling in disability and be on medicaid and medicare, leaning on the other honest citizens who work to take care of the less fortunate, along with those who continue to “work” the system instead of jobs.

    Health insurance providers need to be turned into non-profit organizations and the “profits” put back into lowering costs of procedures,etc. Pure and simple. Research is good, but it should not be paid for by our insurance premiums. Research is where the federal government should be putting all that money the O’Bama administration is determined to spend.

    Everyone in Washington needs to experience two to three consecutive months living on an income of under $10/hr and try to shuffle the rent or mortgage, childcare, insurance, transportation/gas, utilities, food, and pop up expenses (i.e. sick child, broken tooth, broke down car) that we experience everyday.

    It is very sad that the government that is supposed to by BY THE PEOPLE and FOR THE PEOPLE seems to be run by a group of untouchables who were hand-picked by our current president.

    I really am scared of what our country will be facing if we continue on the road we’re on now. God bless America!

  • Davis Luck

    The health Care System in this country has been needing an overhaul for years .Too many people on the top makeing huge incomes at the expense of everyone else,especially those on public assistance with little or no medicare. 3rd party providers are rakeing in huge profits at A time when the rest of the country is unstable in the jobs which directly support the bread we eat and the essentials for the ways and means we do bussiness internationally as well.
    No one wants to deny the good doctor and there supportive staff there charges. Everyone needs there services; civilian or as veterans in VAMCs and clinics .How do we make health care affoardable to American citizens and when do we stop letting in non citizens to it through our tax dollars.
    Like it or not from all sides health care needs to be reformed but not because of A change in the need ,but because of the way the systems is looking at costs of services provided .Double and triple dipping on charges and A huge amount of bulked up charges being given to civilians and federal recipiants of health care.
    More than an extensive audit of the system is called for.A strong undertakeing of the next census needs to be done to give our government true numbers of its people everywhere. Half the answer is knowing what the problem is and I don’t believe our census has been in order for several decades and it needs to be done more often than once every ten years to keep Congress aware of who it represents. How do you count illegal aliens who have no address or move about constantly etc. They miss being counted or are affraid of being counted as well.Then these same ones want free clinic help which cannot be associatted directly to the health care system we have so well celebrated for so many years but indirectly there costs are affoarded through charitable proceeds and the like which in turn is written off on there taxs.
    As complicated as proceedures ,medicines have become and will continue to grow so to is the spending which goes with them.I want to know that research and development are not stimied yet at the same time I want A system that doesn’t have as much fat in it for health care workers and third party providers in assurance /insurance measures .
    A paperless system in the computer age has been sought after since its conception yet it seems more paper is used now than ever before in all bussiness not just medicine .Have we taken 2 steps backwards while weve taken one step forward in computers where is the light at the end of these tunnels.
    We need A better system ,how do we go about it,surely A government run health care system has many many faults especially from its beginning. Haveing A government run health care system scares me but so does the high cost of maintaining the current system.
    The house of medicine needs order,there is chaos in it.It is the responsibility of our government leaders to bring this house in order by whatever the majority of the Congress feels it must do.I am not saying these measures proposed can be found right or wrong later on but they cannot set idly by and do nothing while the situation grows worse .This stand that the new administration is takeing may fall short in many ways of being the right stand to take but they are takeing A stand and there stance in this stand must be molded and shaped many many times by us as citizens and government corp. leaders .It is long overdue,It is inevitable that this task must be done by our government.Pray that we have the sound wisdom and leadership to guide us after it becomes law.
    Davis Luck
    Roanoke ,Virginia

  • I think we only need to look at the atrocities of the Veterans Administration to glimps the realities of a Federally run health care program.

  • Thomas Hickman in Lexington

    You get an education or job training for your future and earnings. You find a job. You either buy health coverage or your employer helps pay for it. It has worked this way for years, and has performed well. More jobs produces more money to pull from and causes more money to buy health coverage. Less illegal persons in our country for the government to pay for and Social Security benifits for those who have paid into it. Congress, working for the people, not for themselves will makehappy citizens. Congress should pay into Social Security and be limited to 2 terms in office. Also, we should reduce their power to vote themselves raises and benifits.

  • Ronnie Thompson

    How can we expand government run health programs that are already riddled with waste and fraud. Over 10% of welfare and medicade paid is stolen by unscrupolous medical companies, hospitals, and a few doctors that feel they are entitled to higher incomes. If we would eliminate certain programs like full medicade to illegal immigrants, we would be able to take care of this countries poor and homeless populations which are growing every day. Is an overhaul needed, yes it is. The programs in place need to be policed better. Do we deny care? No; but we must have enough information on the patient as possible. The state of Virginia is a garnishee state. Medical bills account for about half of the wage garnishments. Make hospitals non-profits and prosecute the abosers. If the federal government wants to be responsible, let them account for every penny in a monthly report available on the web for all tio see.


    JULY 20, 2009

  • Bruce Stark

    We definitely do NOT need another bureauracy run debacle like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and every thing else that the government has gotten its-self into that is beyond their juristriction and out of bounds by the Constitution of the United States of America!

    We need less government not more!

    Go away Uncle Sam, Go away!

    What do you think the TEA parties are about?

  • Dear Congressman Goodlatte,I have nothing but good favor for you
    because iI know you have the interest Oof the American Public at the core
    of your Heart! I also know that you are a Republican and I believe it or not
    am a staunch Dem O yea;when I needed someone to help you were there
    that puts me in the stew as siding and yes deciding.
    Your Honor I am not well enough advised on the issue at hand,but I do
    know that the American people are trully weighed down with this concern
    It’s troublesome to us,the poor are and in need of help,the rich are yes
    afraid that they well bare the burden,am I correct? Then we as Dems and
    Republicans need to forget the schizim in the parties and look at the ovre-
    all condition of every point in our society! We as a people are suffering not
    because of the Dems nor the Rep. but an exponential dpwn turn of our
    society as a whole.Bickering time is over,we have to save AMERICA for our children of the future.If we don’t do it,it want get done! I don’t really care
    who does it,I don’t care which party or group or what,just GET “ER DONE!
    Stop the fuss ,work together,stop looking for browny points,puts your
    heads together and save America!You’re intellegent men not children we
    trust you,now do what you said you would do across the board!PLEASE
    we need you. Health Care Reform,can it work at all?Then use it.In this yes
    drafted form then use, cann it work at all?Then use it! Need to draft a new
    form,then draft it.Work together solve! This is America,we are Americans
    there was a problem with God’s that we could’nt! Forget the Atheist how
    can they have a word against someone first of all that they don’t even say
    or belive exist! I’m a preacher had to get that in there.Much to love you in the name of Christ we can do anything.our forefathers and yes it was in the name of Christ,thats why we are failing,we’ve forgotten his name.

  • Lou Mehrmann

    Thank you Bob Goodlatte for taking a firm position on the ridiculous plan to lead us into a socialized medicine environment. After reading a number of prior comments to you it is immdiately obvious that, as we fear, many folks do not know what is going to happen to our health care in this country if the government takes control of the delivery mechanism. One only has to ask the question “If the proposed health care system is so far superior to what we currently have, why will the President, his administration, members of Congress and the Senate not commit and vote on a measure to personally (100%) give up what they currently have and participate in the plan they are proposing for US”.

    As an aging (in our late 70’s) and retired couple, we are extremely concerned about the direction that the elected in our country are taking us and the truth is not being published or broadcast. We are convinced that is why so many of your prior comments favor the administration’s plan. It is a result of what we perceive as the “dumbing down of America”.

    I am a prostate cancer and heart attack survivor only because I was able to have a choice of doctors and procedures that have extended my life significantly. The choice of Doctor’s was mine, the choice of procedures were mine, the timing of treatments was mine. No other country in the world would have allowed me that opportunity. Those who have never had the experience and think that our system is flawed only need to ask “why do so many from other countries come to the U.S for treatment”?

    And one last comment that highlights how superior our process here in America is. We have a dear friend who was a practicing physician in Canada. He came to our country, became a citizen and started to practice here because he was so hamstrung on WHAT he could do and HOW he could do it in Canada.

    Finally, keep up the good work Bob and fight the good fight for us.

    Lou and Gloria

  • Thanks for your committment to oppose the health bill in its current form. You are the only one who makes sense about the reasons to oppose the House bill. The two senators from Virginia don’t have the same feelings you do about a health care bill. The trust in the two senators from Virginia leaves a lot to be desired.

  • Dr. Larry Roller

    They used to talk about the uninsured. Now it is “health care” for everyone. We have a good system now. People can now go to the Emergency Room of any hospital and receive needed care regardless of their financial situation. Anyone without insurance can now go to the Free Health Clinic and receive the care they need–and they can get it now, no monthly waiting period. We have medicare and medicaid for those with long-term illnesses which include re-education if job changes are needed. As far as fraud and double-dipping are concerned, that is another problem and should be addressed directly instead of using it as an excuse to “nationalize” our health care. Right now, even with some problems, we have the best health care system in the world!

  • vic foti

    Bob, Keep fighting for our conservative values. Doesn’t the Dems pay any attention to the American Public. We don’t want more of Wash but less. I don’t understand how they ignoring the public opinion. There is not one program they have instituted that is working.



  • S. Taylor

    Unfortunately for us is that we have people like Davis Luck who will fall for any government plan, just because. The government is taking care of it so why don’t we just go along with it and TRUST our leaders.

    Well, if the past 6 months is an indication of what our leaders are going to do for this country and especially “taxpayers” we are screwed. I don’t buy the whole “reform” whitewash and I hope that the senators and congressman who vote “yea” for this” disaster in waiting” will be held accountable by the American people.

    Until “We The People” get off our duffs and SHOUT;


    Nothing will change.

  • J. S. Smith

    Insurance companies already dictate the care of patients, how long a patient may be in the hospital, the treatment that is covered and much more. With Washington involved politics are involved. That means that what is best for the majority of people is lost in policies, procedures and special interests. The medical system is broken but Washington control would only make it worse not better.

  • Linda Thacker

    I am totally against the socialized medicine plan of Obama. People will die waiting for treatment, as it is in Canada. It is also expensive and we will end up paying more than we do now. NO to Obama.

  • Patti

    All of these comments are great but the fact of the matter is that our Government really does not care what we think or how we feel, we the people do not have a voice unless you have alot of money to pad the pockets of a politician, I do believe some elected officials have good honest intentions. As far as health care goes Washington is going to do what they want and we get to watch the destruction of our health care in this country.

  • Barbara Carroll

    I listened to Obama’s speech on Wed. night and although he is a very smooth speaker he doesn’t tell you the truth about what this Health Care will mean to the American people. Our coverage in this country is the best you can find. Look at Canada and some of the other countries that have health care that is controlled by the Governmnt….it is scary!

    I pray that the Replublicans will stand up and vote “NO” to this bill and be able to convince some Democrats not to follow Obama.

    Please let us know if we can flood Washington with our petitions against this bill.
    Thanks for your leadership.

  • Donna Boothe

    As my mother was born in Britian and we still have family and friends there, I have seen first hand what “National Health” does. When you need your gaulbladder removed but you have to go on a 2 year waiting list because it has not burst yet you can be in trouble. I know this happened because we almost lost my mothers best finally did burst and they had to consider her an emergency situation…….We should not cover anyone that did not enter this country in the legal manner, why should our hard earned dollars cover thoes that have no desire to work (some have no choice, but others choose to live on our welfare system). I have worked since I was 15 and there have been days when I didn’t know if my ends would meet, but I keep going…..I don’t expect a free hand out, I was raised to work hard and be thankfull that I can. Yes….something needs to be done about health coverage…lets start with those 6 figure salaries that the upper management in the insurance companies make. Why can’t they live on the same type of salary the majority of we citizens do? That would be a good place to start.

  • Ann Miller

    I am a progessive and am so fed up with the misuse of power by corporations in America. We should be afraid of powerful health care lobbyists. Insurance Companies in particular. Just when you need them they cancel your coverage or raise your rates. Medicare is a successful program that should be expanded to include all Americans. Republicans are acting like children in a schoolyard fight. You people realy scare me.

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