Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ohio Round-Up: Reaction to Health Care Law

I have a whole bunch of quotes, stats, ballot initiates, and potential state laws to get out of my inbox and on to the site, so let's get this round-up started...

Republican Leader, my Congressman and a Great American -- John Boehner:
“This is a somber day for the American people. By signing this bill, President Obama is abandoning our founding principle that government governs best when it governs closest to the people. Americans have never felt more disconnected from their government than they do today.

“Never before has such a monumental change to our government been carried out without the support of both parties. This debate has fostered unprecedented division at a time when this nation needs to come together and address the serious challenges we face.

“The devastating consequences of this legislation will be felt in broken promises, higher costs, lost jobs and fewer freedoms. Republicans will continue to stand on principle, hold President Obama accountable for his promises, and fight to repeal this government takeover of health care so we can start over on common-sense reforms that lower costs for families and small businesses.”

Rep. Bob Latta (R, OH-05):
“On Sunday, March 21, Congress held a career-defining vote on the issue of government funding of abortion and for the pro-life community. I voted against H.R. 3590, the Senate-passed health care bill, because it contains several provisions that will facilitate the federal funding of abortions. Furthermore, the bill does not provide for the conscience protection for health care workers.

Many lawmakers who consider themselves ‘pro-life’ voted in favor of this legislation after a promise from President Barack Obama to sign an Executive Order (EO) to correct the problem of abortion funding in the bill. However, President Obama is the most pro-abortion chief executive to ever reside in the White House and a piece of paper signed with his name will do nothing to make this health care legislation acceptable to protect the unborn.

An EO cannot change federal statute, which is what H.R. 3590 which was signed into law today. Even Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), a pro-abortion member of the House Democrat Leadership, admitted during an interview with Fox News on Sunday that ‘an executive order cannot change the law.’ Furthermore, an EO can be retracted just as easily – it does not have the full force of the law. The American public, including my constituents, have overwhelmingly indicated that they do not want the government to fund abortions, but that is exactly what this legislation will do.”
Ohio House Republicans (Barb Sears and Ron Maag):
“The people of Ohio and our nation deserve better than this partisan bill that will raise taxes and cause our deficit to skyrocket, leaving our children to foot the bill,” Maag said. “Everyone can agree that the health care system should be improved, but this format is neither the hope nor the change the hardworking families of this state wanted.”

House Joint Resolution 3, commonly known as the Ohio Health Care Freedom Act, would propose an amendment to Ohio’s Constitution to prohibit any Ohio law or rule from forcing any person, employer or health care provider to participate in a health care system. Had the House majority moved forward with this initiative back in August, the measure would have appeared as a ballot issue in February 2010.

“I’m disappointed that in the face of mounting government spending and control, Ohio’s Democrats refused to even allow the Ohio Health Care Freedom Act to be placed on the ballot for the people to decide,” Sears added. “In Columbus and in Washington, D.C. alike, elected officials are supposed to uphold the will of the people, not manipulate democracy and circumvent public input. I respectfully reiterate our request for HJR 3 to have more hearings and encourage the House majority to place the measure before the full House for a vote.”

According to a recent Quinnipiac Poll, Ohioans oppose Congress’s health care overhaul 56 to 33 percent. The bill is projected to cost an average of nearly $95 billion annually over the next decade with costs accelerating over time. In 2018, national health care expenditures are projected to exceed $4.5 trillion as per the Congressional Budget Office and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Ohio Senate Republicans (Shannon Jones and Tim Grendell):
Columbus – Following passage of federal healthcare legislation that will have a tremendous impact on the state budget and Ohio taxpayers, State Senators Shannon Jones (R-Springboro) and Tim Grendell (R-Chesterland) will unveil legislation designed to protect Ohioans from federal mandates regarding their health care.
US Senate Candidate Rob Portman:
"Our health care system is broken but the partisan bill the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed last night is the wrong fix. We need real reform that will cut rising costs and make sure that every American has access to quality care. Unfortunately, the bill going to the President for signature into law doesn't do that. It is a budget buster we can't afford and a big government approach that will increase premiums, burdensome government regulations and taxes that will make it even harder for small businesses to create the new jobs we so badly need in Ohio. There was a better way, by finding common ground on sensible reforms to reduce costs and expand access. Regrettably, Washington Democrats ignored the will of the American people to enact a bill filled with backroom deals and special-interest payoffs."
OH-18 Congressional Candidate Bob Gibbs:
“Once again the US Congress went wildly out of control with their attempt to resolve a challenge facing this nation. Just like when Congress overreacted to rising unemployment rates by passing the so-called “stimulus” bill which added no new jobs, Congress passed a bad bill tonight that doesn’t fix our health care system, and adds crippling taxes to families and businesses.

This bill immediately raises taxes, cuts Medicare, and hurts our seniors. The notion that this bill creates jobs or decreases the deficit is simply absurd. Ohio jobs will leave our area now that added burdens, such as extra taxes and penalties on employers, have become a part of their reality. Perhaps most disappointing was seeing the principled stand of some members, who refused to vote for this bill if it included public funding of abortion, end with an agreement to vote for it with only the assurance of an unsustainable compromise that doesn’t address the pro-abortion language of the bill.

Two months after Scott Brown was elected trying to stop this from happening, Congress passed a bill that brought out their very worst with impossible to justify deals like the “Cornhusker Kickback.” It’s clear that Nancy Pelosi didn’t hear the message that came from the election results in Massachusetts, and clear that Congress had no intention of listening to the American people, who clearly wanted Congress to go back to the drawing board and put forth a bill that we could be proud of.

Zack Space cast a critical vote early on to set us on this path. His retreat from his earlier vote does not absolve him from the blame for what will now happen to our economy and to already out of control federal spending. Voters will hold Zack Space accountable for setting this in motion. I will make certain of it.”
Ohio Liberty Council:
“The Ohio Liberty Council seeks to preserve the freedom of Ohioans to choose their health care and health care coverage,” said Ohio Liberty Council President Chris Littleton. “With the passage of untenable national mandates on health insurance, the federal government is trampling on the direct constitutional authority and responsibility of state legislatures. This constitutional amendment will do what our leaders in the Statehouse and Congress have failed to do – protect Ohioans from federal mandates on personal behavior.”

“The health care reform bill’s requirement to maintain minimum essential coverage essentially asserts that if you are alive, you must buy health insurance that is acceptable to the federal government. However, the mere act of being alive is not commerce that can be regulated by the federal government,” said 1851 Center Executive Director Maurice Thompson. “Accordingly, the legislation is constitutionally tenuous, and will take a backseat to our constitutional amendment, which upon enactment, will be a fundamental right amongst all Ohioans.”
Check out the proposed amendment here (PDF).

UPDATE: Rep. Mike Turner (R, OH-03)