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January 20th, 2011

Latham Votes to Repeal Flawed Health Care Law and Replace With Common-Sense Solutions

Iowa Congressman Tom Latham voted on Wednesday to repeal President Obama’s job-destroying health care law off the books as he prepares replacement health care legislation that addresses the actual concerns of Iowans.

The House voted 245 -189 to repeal the health care legislation, which was supported by President Obama and authored by congressional Democrats last year. In the months since its passage, the credibility of supporters’ claims that the bill would decrease health spending and lower the deficit has steadily eroded.

“The health care law is full of new government mandates and taxes that will raise premiums, destroy jobs and further weaken our country’s fiscal standing,” Congressman Latham said following the vote. “Striking this massive policy failure from the books is a necessary step so we can enact real reform that makes premiums more affordable and encourages job growth. Those are the reforms the American people have been demanding all along.”

Congressman Latham is crafting his own health care legislation that will expand coverage and lower costs for millions of Americans without adding to the national debt.

His legislation, which he will formally introduce in the coming days, includes the following provisions:

— It guarantees affordable health care to those with pre-existing conditions, without making coverage unaffordable for others.
— It greatly reduces the cost of individual health policies by allowing a full deduction for health insurance premiums – whether or not a taxpayer itemizes deductions.
— It allows health insurance plans to be purchased across state lines.
— It establishes small business health plans, so small employers can pool together to negotiate for lower premiums for workers.
— It contains real medical liability reform, capping damages and awards in liability cases.
— It enhances health savings accounts by allowing taxpayers to use HSA funds to pay the premiums for the health insurance plan that is paired with the account.
— It cracks down on Medicare and Medicaid fraud.

Congressman Latham’s legislation also would retain the common-sense features recently enacted into law that received broad support among citizens and lawmakers. Retained provisions include requiring coverage for pre-existing conditions in children, allowing dependents to stay on their parents’ policies until age 26, prohibiting annual and lifetime benefit limits and preventing insurers from unjustly canceling policies.

“The legislation that I intend to introduce is a common-sense approach to addressing the weaknesses in our health care system without destroying what works well,” Congressman Latham said. “It utilizes the provisions of the new health care law that received bipartisan backing while taking real steps to lower health care costs for middle-class Iowans. Congress will continue to debate health care in the months ahead, and I plan to do what I can to make sure the principles and features of my health care bill play prominently in that ongoing debate.”

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The Iowa Republican

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