Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling finding Obamacare constitutional:
“It may be constitutional but this massive new federal program does not improve the quality or lower the cost of health care. In fact, it does just the opposite. It will continue to be a drag on the economy as businesses are reluctant to hire new employees until they know all the cost and ramifications of the new mandates Therefore I will work for its repeal and to replace it with reforms that bring down the cost of care without increasing the size of government.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has announced that the House will vote the week of July 9 to again repeal and replace the misguided law. The vote will follow up on the House’s successful fight to secure $52 billion in taxpayer savings signed into law by repealing or defunding portions of the law
Kingston did not wait for the Supreme Court to rule in order to fight the law. He has already voted to repeal and replace it and helped author legislation that would defund automatic funding hidden in it provisions. In addition he has sponsored the following proposals that would bring down the cost of and increase accessibility to care without expanding the size of government:
Enact Medical Liability Reform
Sensible tort reforms would cut back on unnecessary tests and procedures that are only ordered to defend against frivolous lawsuits, saving patients time and irritation while saving all of us money.
· H.R. 5 “Help, Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2011 – I voted in support of this bill which imposes limits on medical malpractice litigation in state and federal courts by capping awards and attorney fees. (This bill was later renamed the Protecting Access to Healthcare Act (PATH) Act, under the same number. In addition, this later version repeals the Independent Patient Advisory Board (IPAB) and includes the original tort reform language.) Status: Passed the House of Representatives 223-181
· H.R. 3000 “Empowering Patients First Act”– I cosponsored this bill which reforms the medical liability system by instituting limits on medical malpractice litigation and capping awards and attorney fees.
Purchase Health Insurance across State Lines
Allowing Americans to buy the same plans available to residents of other states would increase competition and help reduce costs while providing more choice.
- H.R. 371 “Health Care Choice Act of 2011”– This legislation repeals health insurance and health coverage mandates under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and replaces these requirements with the opportunity for individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines. I am a cosponsor of this bill.
Expand Health Savings Accounts
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are popular savings accounts that provide cost effective health insurance to those who might otherwise go uninsured. Making them easier to use would increase access to quality care by making health care more affordable.
· H.R. 369 “Health Savings and Affordability Act of 2011” – I cosponsored this bill. It provides a tax deduction for qualified health plans, increases flexibility to participate in HSAs and increases the maximum annual contribution limit to HSAs.
· H.R. 436 “Health Care Cost Reduction Act of 2012”– I cosponsored and voted in support of this legislation. This bill repeals restrictions placed on HSAs created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) limiting individual contributions to these accounts and permits reimbursements for over-the-counter drugs. Status: Passed House of Representatives 270-146
· H.R. 605 “Patients’ Freedom to Choose Act”– This bill repeals provisions in PPACA limiting the use of Health Savings Accounts (HSA) for purchases of certain medications and insulin and removes the $2,500 annual limit on HSA contributions. I am a cosponsor of this bill.
· H.R. 2010 “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to improve access to health care through expanded health savings accounts and for other purposes” – I am a cosponsor of this bill which allows Medicare Part A, Veterans and TRICARE beneficiaries to participate in HSAs. H.R. 2010 permits HSAs to be used for over-the-counter medicines or drugs purchase certain health insurance coverage and long-term care insurances, and payment of certain medical expenses incurred prior to establishment of the HSA.
Increasing Access for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions
By incentivizing states to expand high-risk pools and other innovative programs, we can lower premiums and reduce the number of uninsured Americans.
· H.R. 2055 “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012”– This bill provides $44 million in funding for FY 2012 for state operated high risk pools. I voted in support of this legislation. Status: Signed into law, P.L. 112-74
· H.R. 3000 “Empowering Patients First Act” – The bill, which I am a cosponsor of, provides block grants to states to administer high-risk pools, a reinsurance pool or other risk-adjustment mechanism to help individuals with pre-existing conditions obtain coverage.
Level the Playing Field for Purchasing Health Insurances
Giving equal tax treatment to individual and employer-sponsored health insurance would create a more transparent, consumer-driven market for health care and would help reduce the problem of “preexisting conditions.”
· H.R. 3000 “Empowering Patients First Act” – The bill, which I am a cosponsor of, allows anyone purchasing health insurance to do so with pre-tax dollars through an above the line deduction to level the playing field for individuals purchasing health care in the individual market.
Permanently Prohibit Taxpayer Funding of Abortion
Taxpayer dollars should not be used to take innocent life through abortion and health care providers should be protected from performing procedures that violate their conscience.
· H.R. 3 “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” – This bill prohibits the expenditure of federal funds for any abortion. I am a cosponsor and voted in support of this legislation. Status: Passed House of Representatives 251-175
· H.R. 358 “Protect Life Act”– I am a cosponsor of this bill and voted in support of it on the House. This legislation prohibits federal funds from being used to cover any health plan that includes coverage for abortion services. Status: Passed House of Representatives 251-172
· H.R. 3000 “Empowering Patients First Act”– I cosponsored this bill which requires no federal funds, including credits, deductions or subsidies, authorized for health coverage may be used to pay for an abortion.