The president, Harry Reid and the Republican Party sent press releases in a flurry after the Senate voted to debate the Senate version of the health care "reform" bill. I figured the thoughtful readers of this blog would like to see those spins in their entirety without a filter. So, here they are.
First the president’s message. Then Harry Reid’s. Then the National Republican Senatorial Committee. I’ll be interested to read your comments and, of course, you’ll find a complete roundup of this and other current events in your Sunday morning Las Vegas Review-Journal.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release November 21, 2009
Statement from Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Tonight’s Senate Vote
“The President is gratified that the Senate has acted to begin consideration of health insurance reform legislation. Tonight’s historic vote brings us one step closer to ending insurance company abuses, reining in spiraling health care costs, providing stability and security to those with health insurance, and extending quality health coverage to those who lack it. The President looks forward to a thorough and productive debate.”
This evening, we took an enormous step toward achieving our goal of delivering quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans. Just a few minutes ago, 60 senators voted to block a Republican filibuster so that we can move the debate forward on the Patient Protection and Affordability Act – a fiscally responsible bill that will reduce the federal deficit by $130 billion in ten years, cut costs, protect patients’ choice of their doctors, and insure an additional 31 million Americans.
I am very proud of this legislation, which will move us one step closer to ensuring affordable coverage for 518,000 more Nevadans.
The legislation will level the playing field for patients by holding insurance companies accountable. I worked hard to include a voluntary public option that will inject much needed competition into the healthcare marketplace and keep costs down. If you like the insurance you have, you can keep it. However, this legislation will provide something that is currently lacking for far too many Americans: choice.
The Patient Protection and Affordability Act protects our seniors. The bill strengthens Medicare services, making the critical program more sustainable while cutting waste, fraud and abuse. It also take steps to making prescription drug medications more affordable by reducing the Medicare "donut hole" and providing discounts for brand-name drugs and biologics purchased by low and middle-income beneficiaries.
The legislation addresses the skyrocketing healthcare costs for small businesses that are having a negative effect on our economy. It provides tax credits to assist small businesses to make employee coverage more affordable.
Tonight’s vote is very exciting news. However, we will not pass the finish line until health insurance reform crosses President Obama’s desk.
There’s a long road ahead. But we are well on our way. Next step is to begin debate. When we return the week after Thanksgiving, we will begin the final steps toward passage. For a more detailed explanation of the pathway forward, you can go to my web site here.
You can also text "HCR" on your cell phones to 42779 for text message updates on the healthcare process.
Thank you for your continued support as we move closer toward our shared goal. Soon we will have health insurance reform that ensures quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.
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For Immediate Release:
November 21, 2009
NRSC Press Office
Reid Rams $2.5 Trillion Government-Run Health Care Plan Through U.S. Senate
WASHINGTON – National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesman Brian Walsh issued the following statement in response to the motion to proceed with a vote on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) government-run health care plan:
“Harry Reid owns this $2.5 trillion government-run health care bill, which is paid for with massive tax hikes on American families and small businesses as well as cuts to Medicare for seniors, and will cost state governments tens of millions of dollars in new unfunded mandates.
“Instead of putting his constituents first, Reid decided it was more important to pander to the left wing of his party and crafted this costly government takeover of America’s health care system behind closed doors.
“Unfortunately for Nevadans, Reid completely ignored the increasing unemployment rate in Nevada, the growing national deficit, and the Democrats’ stimulus debacle when he rammed this legislation through the U.S. Senate.
“There’s no doubt that this legislation will be a critical issue for Harry Reid as he embarks on his uphill re-election battle, and the people of Nevada will have an opportunity to hold him accountable when they cast their ballots next November.”
Key Facts About Harry Reid’s Government-Run Health Care Bill:
Total Number of Pages: 2,074
Spending: The actual cost of the bill is $2.5 trillion over 10 years of full implementation (2014 – 2023). The $894 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score disguises its true cost due to the fact that many of the major programs do not take effect until 2014.
Taxes Increases: Taxes will go up $493.6 billion—nearly half a trillion dollars.
Medicare Cuts: Medicare will be cut $464.6 billion—another half a trillion dollars.
Abortion: Reid’s bill permits the use of accounting gimmicks that will, for the first time, allow federal dollars to go to plans covering abortion. The bill does not include the House legislation’s Stupak amendment language, and as a result, the National Right to Life called Reid’s bill “completely unacceptable” and said it would “result in coverage of abortion on demand in two big new federal government programs.”
· Government Plan: The bill includes a government-run plan and provides states with the possibility of opting out of participating in that plan. According to CBO, the government run plan “would typically have premiums that were somewhat higher than the average premiums for the private plans in the exchanges.”
· Employer Mandate: The bill will impose $28 billion in new taxes on employers that do not provide government approved health plans. These new taxes will ultimately be paid by American workers in the form of reduced wages and lost jobs.
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