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Guthrie Statement: Markup of H.R. 3200, the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act

I came to Congress at the beginning of this year to try to make our country better and to address many of the challenges that Kentucky families are facing. Our current health care system is a challenge to many families in my district and across America – whether it is paying for visits to the doctor or gaining access to care. I agree that our system is in need of reform, but I am sad to say that this bill does not overcome these challenges.

The American people have made it clear that putting a government bureaucrat between patients and their doctor is not the solution. We should have worked together in a bipartisan fashion to lower health care costs and expand access without compromising the quality of care, bankrupting our country, or leading us toward a government run health care system.

Before I was elected to Congress, I worked for my family’s small business. We did what we thought was right and provided quality health coverage to our employees for one dollar a month.

But now, with this legislation, our small business will have bureaucrats in Washington telling us what kind of coverage we can or cannot offer, and if we don’t offer what they say, we will be penalized with outrageous taxes and our employees will be forced to participate into a government run option.

Raising taxes on small businesses is not the way to create jobs during a time when we desperately need more of them. I know what it’s like to sign both sides of the paycheck, and I can tell you that small businesses will not be create more jobs if they are forced to pay even higher taxes.

Furthermore, I am extremely concerned by the more than 1 trillion dollar price tag that comes with this plan. When I came to Washington from serving in the Kentucky State Senate, I had to learn how to speak in billions of dollars instead of millions, and now, in only about six months, we have moved to speaking in trillions of dollars. I agree that most Americans spend far too much on healthcare, but the key to addressing this concern is not spending a trillion dollars that our country doesn’t have.

The American people deserve better than this plan. I look forward to continued debate on this important issue, and hope that we can work together to make the necessary improvements to our health care system without jeopardizing the high quality of care we now enjoy or further mortgaging our children’s future.


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