Hensarling discusses importance of repealing health care act
By DORIS NEWMAN The Monitor Staff
July 3, 2012 at 2:45 a.m.
United States Congressman Jeb Hensarling made one of his town hall visits in Mineola Monday morning. Hensarling usually can expect a crowd, but with the topic national health care, Monday's meeting packed city hall.
State Representative Bryan Hughes first greeted the crowd as they awaited Hensarling's arrival, expressing his dislike of the Supreme Court decision and that states could avoid having to take part in the health care act, to which he was greeted by strong applause from the audience.
"Maybe we can use this as encouragement to do what we have to do in the 2012 election cycle," he said.
Shortly afterward Hensarling arrived and was quickly introduced to the crowd by Mineola Mayor Bo Whitus.
The U.S. congressman stated, "I'm fond of saying, I am open minded. But that is not to say I am empty-minded" as he kicked off his explanation of why he was opposed the Affordable Care Act. He said he was there to hear from his constituents, and as he explained the rules for the questions he said if there was anyone there with views contrary to his, he would make a true effort to allow those people to speak. He said he hears views from his constituents regularly who don't necessarily agree with his.
He explained "why it needs to be repealed" even though "health care is still broken in America." He expressed his displeasure with Chief Justice John Roberts' opinion in which he began by expressing that the individual mandate was unconstitutional, but then changed the rules by calling what was being viewed as a penalty a tax.
"Every single proponent of it," Hensarling noted, said they would not support a tax increase on anyone making under $200,000 a year but that is exactly what has been done to everyone, he said.
"I do not believe Thursday was a good day for freedom," he said. "I do not believe it was a good day for patient-controlled health care."
He said that the federal deficit has escalated in the past three and a half years more than it had in 200 years prior to that point. "We are now on our way to our fourth trillion dollar deficit," the congressman said. "At some point, you have got to quit spending money you do not have."
In addition, he said contrary to its name, that the average family of four is paying, $2,200 more a year in health care than it was when the act was enacted.
"The Affordable Care Act is not all that affordable," he said.
He continued saying that the country's recovery from the recession was "the slowest recovery of any other post-war economy in history."
He said that his parents are aging and with the cuts that have been made to Medicare providers, "I don't believe the quality of health care for my loved ones is going to be improved by this legislation."
He pointed to the number of committees created by the act and asked if anyone had heard of the Independent Payment Advisory Board. He said those present should, because it would consist of 15 "unelected unaccountable bureaucrats," all of whom, he said, had to have no medical background "making decisions about seniors."
He said that the number of Medicare providers is decreasing drastically and "I haven't really seen the quality of care digress because of this, but I'm afraid it will." He said, "by one estimate," 40 percent of all Medicare providers who are being tracked will be insolvent.
The congressman called for the repeal of the entire act, saying "We must work together" for every American to have affordable health care that is of high quality and does not wipe out life savings due to one debilitating illness.
Men and women who asked the first several questions expressed views about how the Supreme Court could reach the decision it did and how executive privilege works. One man said not only had he heard the president was training thousands of Internal Revenue Service agents, but that hundreds of those were being trained in black ops by a trained Navy Seal. Hensarling said he knew about the IRS agents but that if the man had more information about the black ops training he'd like to know because that he had not heard about.
Another man said his perspective was that Roberts had left the decision making up to the public, and he said that Hensarling and others in the Republican Party needed to communicate with members of the 18- to 30-year-old age group.
A woman asked Hensarling that when the act is repealed, that those involved consider options for alternative forms of healthcare, saying holistic medicine which she said was treating the source of the problem and not just the symptoms, had helped her more than anything. The congressman asked her to provide him more information on that.