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Crapo: Health Care Reform Bill Misses The Mark

Says Reid health care reform bill costs taxpayers, decreases quality

Washington, DC - Tonight, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo voted against moving ahead on a health care reform proposal, saying that the legislation, drafted behind closed doors with only Democrats involved, is a massive government takeover that will drive up the cost of health insurance and medical care. The legislation passed on a strictly partisan vote of 60 to 39; Crapo voted nay. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced that the Senate will begin full debate on the measure following the Thanksgiving state work period.

"This 2,000-plus page bill is not the kind of reform the American people want," Crapo said following the vote. "It raises taxes by half a trillion dollars, increases premiums and cuts Medicare at the expense of our senior citizens to create a new entitlement program. It grows the federal government by over $2.4 trillion, imposes penalties on individuals and employers and forces the needy uninsured into a failing Medicaid system, resulting in an unfunded mandate on our struggling states. And, at the end, the bill still leaves millions of Americans uninsured.

"Some argue that this procedural vote tonight, which is called cloture, is merely a step toward opening the debate on this issue. Historically, however, the Congressional Research Service has documented that 97 percent of all bills brought up through a cloture motion to begin debate end up becoming law. This is far more than procedure; it is the Senate Democrats telegraphing to the American people that this bill is well on its way to drastically changing our health care system-against the wishes of the majority of Americans.

Crapo concluded, "I am disappointed that the Administration didn't live up to its promises regarding bipartisan efforts to reform health care. It seems that bipartisan has come to mean 'do it our way,' and that's not what the American people want. We would be better off starting over and using step-by-step reforms: the ability to purchase insurance across state lines; equalizing tax treatment of insurance; eliminating waste, fraud and abuse; and promoting wellness and prevention programs. These are the types of changes that will lower costs and increase quality of care for all Americans."