From the office of Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY):
Citing cries from people across the country asking Congress to craft new legislation to overhaul the nation’s healthcare system, U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield (KY-01) called on the House Energy and Commerce Committee last week to reconsider the bill previously passed by the Committee and deliver legislation which will improve access to quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.
Whitfield made the following statement last Wednesday at a House Energy and Commerce Committee markup on additional amendments to H.R. 3200, the America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009. The Committee passed the bill at the end of July, but considered additional amendments to it at last week’s meeting. Whitfield voted against passage of the legislation at both Committee markups.
“Each one of us on this Committee has been sent to Washington to be advocates for our constituents. During August when all of us went home it was made very clear to us by our constituents, in very loud ways, that they are thoroughly and completely opposed to H.R. 3200.
“Now this morning the Chairman is going to ask to send to the Rules Committee amendments to H.R. 3200. I would ask the Chairman to send H.R. 3200 back to this Committee and give us the opportunity to reopen this bill to reflect the changes that the American people have asked for.
“When President Obama spoke before Congress two weeks ago, he said that he would not favor taking money from Medicare. H.R. 3200 takes money from Medicare. He said he would not increase the debt. H.R. 3200 increases the debt. He said he wanted medical malpractice reform. This bill does not have it. So I respectfully ask the Chairman to bring H.R. 3200 back to the Energy and Commerce Committee so that we may debate this bill again and deliver real healthcare solutions for the American people.”
Whitfield has been an outspoken critic of America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 over the past several months. The Congressman has said he is concerned the bill could decrease the quality of care Kentuckians receive, hamstring small business owners in the midst of an economic recession and increase the already sky-high national debt.