Moline, Illinois - With the Supreme Court's decision on the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's health care reform law - the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - expected soon, Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) released the following statement on his plan for health care reform moving forward:
"Before Independence Day, the Supreme Court is expected to announce its ruling on the President’s health care reform law. The court could decide to uphold the entire law, strike it down entirely, or strike parts of it – parts like Medicaid expansion or the individual mandate, which requires nearly every American to buy health insurance.
"Regardless of the court’s decision on the law, I want to work in a bipartisan and transparent way to replace it with common-sense, step-by-step policies that actually lower the cost of health care, preserve Medicare for our children and grandchildren, and put patients and their doctors back in charge of health care decisions. There’s significant support for the law’s repeal, and there’s also widespread agreement that the American health care system is broken and in need of reform.
"Simply put, our work doesn’t stop if this law is taken off the books.
"We should take up-or-down votes on individual improvements to our health care system – particularly those that seek to lower costs and ultimately make care more affordable and more convenient. It’s important that folks with preexisting conditions be able to find coverage, for example. And in a tough economy like this, I agree that young adults should be able to find affordable coverage. Individuals should be able to buy health insurance plans across state lines, with the goal of increasing competition and driving down costs. We should vote to advance common-sense liability protections, stemming defensive medicine and lowering the cost of care. We should also vote on a plan to ensure Medicare physicians won’t see their reimbursement rates cut. This issue must be resolved to ensure physicians aren’t pushed out of Medicare, creating serious access problems for seniors across the country.
"We can also vote on bills that I introduced – like the Charity Care Tax Deduction Act, for example, that would provide a tax deduction to physicians who administer charity care for those can’t afford health insurance, or the Enhanced Veteran Health Care Experience Act that would allow veterans to access the health care they need in their hometowns with their home doctors.
"Another solution to lower health care costs is the bipartisan Health Flexible Spending Arrangements Improvement Act, which passed the House and would allow 35 million Americans to save unused money in their flexible spending accounts for future use on unexpected medical costs. The current “use it or lose it” policy is hurting American families.
"Unless the court throws out the entire law, I will continue working to repeal whatever’s left and apply any savings to a deficit reduction plan. We can’t tax, spend, or regulate our way into a stronger economy and better health care, nor can we prepare ourselves for future threats to our national security while taking a meat cleaver to the Department of Defense’s budget.
"Over the last year and a half, the House has voted 30 times on different bills to repeal, defund, or dismantle the health care reform law. Most recently we voted to repeal its tax on medical devices. This is a tax that would be harmful to companies like Cook Medical, which has been hoping to expand its operations in Canton. The medical device tax would destroy jobs in an industry that employs more than 400,000 Americans throughout the country – 70 in Canton alone. We have also voted to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB); a board of unelected bureaucrats tasked with saving money by restricting access to health care for Medicare beneficiaries. I voted to repeal this board to keep health care decisions between patients and their doctor.
"The bottom line is that I want to make quality health care more convenient and more affordable. I want you to be able to visit the doctor of your choosing and be given the care that your doctor thinks is best.
"Every American is impacted by the health care reform law, and will be affected by the Supreme Court’s decision. We need to continue to work to ensure folks in Illinois and across the country have access to health care that’s high quality, patient-centered, convenient, and affordable, but the best ideas often don’t come from Washington DC, they come from the folks I represent. Please contact my office at schilling.house.gov or (202) 225-5905 with your ideas to improve care."