Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sen. Bob Corker: health care repeal doesn't pass 'common-sense test' @HCAN @HCFA @FamiliesUSA

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The nation will face a financial crisis unless government officials implement policies to balance the health care bill, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said during a speech before the Gallatin Noon Rotary Club on Thursday, April 8.

The Tennessee senator said repealing the bill doesn’t pass the “common-sense test” and that Congress should look for ways to deal with the worst parts of the bill.

“The best course of action would be to say, ‘Look, there are some pieces of this legislation that are good, and there are some pieces of this legislation that are really not good,’” he said.

The senator addressed critics’ “repeal the bill talk.” Corker said an outright repeal would take 67 votes and was unlikely to happen. He said he opposed the bill because of the way it was put together financially.

Considering that repealing the bill cannot happen before 2013, after the next presidential election, such a course of action is not the best option, the senator said.

“What we need to do is now begin to work very quickly toward trying to deal with these issues that are going to become problematic for our country,” he said.

Corker calls for fiscal responsibility

The senator shared insights into how the recently passed legislation can negatively affect Sumner County and the nation by further increasing spending for the already struggling national budget.

“There is no question that as it is now constructed, (the health care bill) is going to create tremendous fiscal and financial distress for our country down the road,” Corker said.

In Tennessee, the bill can further increase the existing $1.1 billion in unfunded liability, which can create “huge financial problems for us,” Corker said.

He said that Medicare — what some consider the greatest threat to the U.S. economy — needs $37 trillion sitting in treasury bonds earning interest to become solvent.

The $37 trillion in unfunded liability for Medicare is in addition to $8 trillion in unfunded liability related to Social Security, $5 trillion with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and almost $13 trillion in national debt mainly to China, he said.

“We’re almost going to double that over the next 10 years,” Corker said. “It’s not sustainable. We’ve put spending on steroids.”

What could happen

If allowed to take its course, the bill will drive private health care costs up, suppress medical innovation and, in a sense, transform insurance companies into public utilities leading to an overall frustration, Corker said.

Legislators need to react with offsetting polices that would ensure “a very competitive, free market, choice-oriented medical system” and ultimately a lasting health-care reform, he said.

In touting his positions at the Rotary lunch, Corker mentioned his background as a business builder able to raise public-interest questions in Washington D.C.

“There are so many problems with this bill, and if we don’t deal with them properly, people will become so discouraged with the private-sector system of health care that we’ll end up with a single payer system,” he said.

The nation will face a financial crisis unless government officials implement policies to balance the health care bill, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said during a speech before the Gallatin Noon Rotary Club on Thursday, April 8.

The Tennessee senator said repealing the bill doesn’t pass the “common-sense test” and that Congress should look for ways to deal with the worst parts of the bill.

“The best course of action would be to say, ‘Look, there are some pieces of this legislation that are good, and there are some pieces of this legislation that are really not good,’” he said.

The senator addressed critics’ “repeal the bill talk.” Corker said an outright repeal would take 67 votes and was unlikely to happen. He said he opposed the bill because of the way it was put together financially.

Considering that repealing the bill cannot happen before 2013, after the next presidential election, such a course of action is not the best option, the senator said.

“What we need to do is now begin to work very quickly toward trying to deal with these issues that are going to become problematic for our country,” he said.

Corker calls for fiscal responsibility

The senator shared insights into how the recently passed legislation can negatively affect Sumner County and the nation by further increasing spending for the already struggling national budget.

“There is no question that as it is now constructed, (the health care bill) is going to create tremendous fiscal and financial distress for our country down the road,” Corker said.

In Tennessee, the bill can further increase the existing $1.1 billion in unfunded liability, which can create “huge financial problems for us,” Corker said.

He said that Medicare — what some consider the greatest threat to the U.S. economy — needs $37 trillion sitting in treasury bonds earning interest to become solvent.

The $37 trillion in unfunded liability for Medicare is in addition to $8 trillion in unfunded liability related to Social Security, $5 trillion with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and almost $13 trillion in national debt mainly to China, he said.

“We’re almost going to double that over the next 10 years,” Corker said. “It’s not sustainable. We’ve put spending on steroids.”

What could happen

If allowed to take its course, the bill will drive private health care costs up, suppress medical innovation and, in a sense, transform insurance companies into public utilities leading to an overall frustration, Corker said.

Legislators need to react with offsetting polices that would ensure “a very competitive, free market, choice-oriented medical system” and ultimately a lasting health-care reform, he said.

In touting his positions at the Rotary lunch, Corker mentioned his background as a business builder able to raise public-interest questions in Washington D.C.

“There are so many problems with this bill, and if we don’t deal with them properly, people will become so discouraged with the private-sector system of health care that we’ll end up with a single payer system,” he said.

Reporter Dessislava Yankova can be reached at 575-7170 or dyankova@mtcngroup.com.

"common sense?"
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