Jun 29 2012
By Rep. Kristi Noem
The Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the president’s health care law has only strengthened my resolve to repeal it in its entirety, because this government takeover of health care is not good for South Dakotans.
The president promised this law would reduce costs, but they’ve only increased. He said if Americans liked their insurance plans prior to the law’s enactment, they could keep them. But the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) tells us an estimated 20 million Americans could lose their employer-sponsored health coverage by 2019. The president also told us the penalty for not having insurance was “absolutely not a tax,” but that’s exactly what the Supreme Court called it. In fact, it’s a tax on the middle class. According to the CBO, more than 75 percent of folks who will be impacted by this new tax earn less than $120,000 a year. On top of the broken promises, this law also cuts $500 billion from Medicare and appoints a 15-member board of unelected bureaucrats to make health care decisions for our seniors.
Repealing that 15-member board is just one of 30 votes the House has taken to repeal, defund and dismantle this law, and I stand with the majority of South Dakotans who still want to see it repealed. I also know that our health care system is broken. I have heard time and again from South Dakotans that health care is too costly and that it is too difficult to receive coverage because of pre-existing conditions. These are serious problems, but there are solutions that can be implemented without putting politicians in control.
The fundamental difference between President Obama and myself is that he believes that government can make the best decisions for South Dakotans. I believe South Dakotans can make the best decisions for themselves.
I am a cosponsor of legislation that would allow Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines, which will help drive down costs and increase quality. I also voted for legislation that implemented medical malpractice reforms. This is a major area that if addressed could significantly drive down costs. It is estimated that one out of every four dollars are spent on so-called “defensive medicine,” which are additional tests and procedures doctors run to protect themselves if ever taken to court. Comprehensive reform could reduce the costs passed along to patients. We also need to look at increasing portability so that people can take their health insurance with them from one job to another, as well as allowing businesses to pool together to increase their risk pool so they can offer more affordable coverage to their employees.
I welcome feedback from South Dakotans on what they want to see, because I will not stop fighting until we repeal this law and replace it with common sense solutions. And when we replace it, we won’t pass a 2,700-page bill just to “find out what is in it,” as former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi infamously said. We will implement solutions in a transparent way that keeps an open dialogue with the American people.
Rep. Kristi Noem is South Dakota’s lone U.S. Representative, elected in November 2010. She serves on the Agriculture, Education and Workforce and Natural Resources Committees.