To date, the Obama White House has granted over 1,000 waivers to opt out of the president’s new health care law. In the interest of fairness, Iowa Congressman Tom Latham signed onto legislation this week that allows every American and employer to apply for exemptions from many of the most onerous provisions in the new health care law, including the mandate that citizens carry insurance or pay a fine.
“If the White House can hand out waivers to this disastrous law – picking winners and losers as it sees fit – then the American people should have the same opportunity to protect their families and businesses from the higher premiums and massive federal government mandates that will be brought about by this misguided health care experiment,” Congressman Latham said after signing on as a co-sponsor of HR 984. “It’s simply a matter of good old American fairness.”
HR 984, the “Health Care Waiver Fairness Act,” would allow consumers to apply for exemptions to the new health law similar to the more than 1,000 waivers already granted by the Obama administration to some large companies and unions. The state of Maine this week was granted a three-year waiver from a requirement in the law that insurers spend at least 80% of premiums on actual care. HR 984 expands the waiver process to allow all citizens and employers to apply for the exemptions.
Congressman Latham opposed and voted against the health care reform law last year and voted to repeal the legislation at the beginning of the current 112th Congress. He also has supported and voted in favor of amendments to congressional spending bills that would de-fund the new law until a permanent repeal can be approved.
In January, Congressman Latham introduced his own health care reform legislation, HR 364, which would replace the Obama law with lower health insurance premiums and expand access to health care. His legislation would allow individual health insurance policies to be purchased across state lines and establish small business health plans so small businesses can pool together to negotiate lower premiums for employees. It also would cover individuals with pre-existing conditions and establish common-sense medical malpractice reform.
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