WASHINGTON, D.C. | June 7, 2011 -
Thank you, Chairman Roe. On behalf of the people of Evansville, please allow me to extend a warm welcome and offer our sincere appreciation for convening this hearing today. I think you will discover people in Indiana have a profound love for their country and a lot of good ideas on how we can move this nation forward. That is ultimately a goal we all share, and one we remain committed to achieving.
These last few years have been a time of both difficulty and promise for our great state. A tough economy has levied many hard choices on our families, workers, businesses, and state leaders. We have tried to meet these challenges head on through hard work and sacrifice. We've made progress, but we realize more work lies ahead.
We must ensure the progress that has been made is not undone by bad policies out of Washington, which brings us to today’s hearing. At a time when businesses continue to struggle, millions of workers remain on the hunt for a job, and families are experiencing greater pain at the pump, our country must now face the consequences of last year’s government takeover of health care.
I was not in public office when the health care legislation moved through Congress. However, I, along with a strong majority of Americans, joined the public debate in opposition to a government takeover of health care. Last year, I had the great privilege of traveling around the district, listening to local business owners and family farmers express their concerns about the direction Washington was taking our country. It is deeply unfortunate those voices were ignored at the time by leaders in the nation’s capital.
The law includes thousands of pages of new mandates, some of which fall on job creators. It includes numerous tax increases, including a 20 billion dollar tax on businesses that develop medical devices. These businesses employ tens of thousands of Hoosiers, and they will take a direct hit thanks to the government takeover of health care. The administration has proposed more than 6,600 pages of regulations over the last year in an effort to implement and enforce the law. At a time when our economy and workforce needs certainty about the future, this regulatory environment simply creates confusion and anxiety, and our workers and their families are paying the price.
Not only is the law piling additional burdens on job creators, many of whom are struggling to meet their payroll, it is placing a greater strain on taxpayers. Despite raising taxes by more than $500 billion and costing an estimated $1.4 trillion dollars, the price tag for taxpayers continues to go up. Here in Indiana, new insurance mandates will drive up health care costs for employers and workers. Also, our governor estimates the expansion of the Medicaid program may cost the state up to $3 billion, a cost that will be forced upon Indiana taxpayers. Speaking as a Hoosier, this is one government takeover our state cannot afford.
It is clear we need a better approach to health care, one that reflects our national values of personal responsibility and limited government; an approach that encourages innovation and job creation. We cannot assume the best answers come from Washington. I am confident with the help of our witnesses, we can identify real solutions that will lower the costs of health care and protect the jobs the nation’s workers desperately need.
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