Competition is a good thing. I’m a competitor, so I appreciate competitive sports, contests. I like it when companies compete for my business. When I make a choice, I feel I have gotten a better deal. I have had options and I chose what I wanted. Health care is no different. Competition benefits consumers with better options in both insurance and service options. It has always been my belief that competition allows a pathway for patient-centered care. In fact in, you can go back to the 2010 Blair House Summit on health care reform where I offered my legislation for across state lines health insurance purchase to President Obama. You can watch here.
Many elected officials, health care providers, and American citizens have seen Obamacare increase the cost of health care and health insurance. Also, it is far too often that we see government organizations forecast that the U.S. health spending will grow considerably faster than growth in the economy.
This rapid growth leads a general consensus of Americans to beg the question – should competition be allowed within our current health care system?
One idea that demonstrates this type of free-market competition includes selling health insurance across state lines. This opens up the health insurance marketplace and in turn, make premiums more affordable for consumers. It allows you to buy insurance from whomever you want and wherever they are located.
Right now, if you decide to purchase individual health insurance, that plan is regulated by a specific state. Whereas an open market would eliminate the many differing state regulations to allow more health plan options – regardless of state - for the purposes of consumer flexibility.
This idea would allow insurers to sell health plans to consumers according to the rules of a single state, regardless of where a person lives. This concept would create a new framework that promotes competition for states by encouraging a reduction in unnecessary regulation.
Allowing the purchase of health insurance across state lines flips the narrative from a bureaucratic choice to an individual choice, rather than a “one-size-fits-most” health plan that may not provide value for different consumer needs.
Currently, because of Obamacare, the federal government has mandated what insurers’ offer consumers. The mandate to become a qualified health plan has, undoubtedly, limited how health plans operate – and this change is the farthest thing from competition, it is a form of wealth distribution.
The conclusion is simple - if the federal government is in the driver’s seat for regulating individual health choices – competition cannot exist. Therefore, it’s important that we allow states and consumers more flexibility in purchasing a health plan that it truly tailored to their needs.
That’s why I have been a long-time champion and author of legislation in the House called the Health Care Choice Act, which allows the purchase of health insurance across state lines. This bill will cut through the bureaucratic red tape and allows states, consumers and providers a better option for individual – patient centered – health care.Read More
Contact: Stefanie Wheeler
The Select Investigative Panel Releases Final Report
The House Select Investigative Panel has concluded its yearlong investigation and released its Final Report which can be read in full here.
The report details many of the disturbing practices the Panel uncovered in the abortion industry with the selling of fetal tissue along with information regarding our public hearings, subpoenas, criminal and regulatory referrals. Also included is the listing of recommendations for improving access to appropriate scientific models, including human fetal tissue when warranted, in order to promote the advancement of science and the development of novel therapies.
“It was an honor to Chair the Select Investigative Panel. I want to thank my colleagues who are strong pro-life leaders and have worked tirelessly over the past year. It is my hope that our recommendations will result in some necessary changes within both the abortion and fetal tissue procurement industries. Our hope is that these changes will both protect women and their unborn children, as well as the integrity of scientific research,” said Chairman Marsha Blackburn.
“Over the last year, the Select Panel’s relentless fact-finding investigation has laid bare the grisly reality of an abortion industry that is driven by profit, unconcerned by matters of basic ethics and, too often, noncompliant with the few laws we have to protect the safety of women and their unborn children. I have never shied away from my own pro-life views, but the findings of this panel should incense all people of conscience,” said Congressman Diane Black.
“It has been a privilege to serve on this Panel alongside such dedicated members in pursuit of the truth. I applaud the diligent work the Select Panel did in investigating the callous practices of abortion providers, the nefarious dealings of the tissue procurement industry, and the atrocious disregard for the privacy and wellbeing of patients. The American people deserve to know these facts so responsible decisions can be made about research that respects women and protects life. I truly wish this investigation hadn’t been necessary, but I am comforted and gratified knowing our work uncovered some truths I am hopeful will better inform Americans everywhere, lead to the preservation of life, and promote the safety and wellbeing of women,” said Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler.
“It has been an honor to serve on the Select Investigative Committee on Infant Lives. The committee’s work uncovered aspects of the fetal tissue industry few people knew about, and I look forward to tracking the progress of the criminal referrals. We must protect the unborn, and every citizen’s God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” said Congresswoman Mia Love
“This select panel conducted a thorough and fact-based investigation to provide the American people answers and to hold those who facilitated these horrendous practices accountable,” said Congressman Larry Bucshon, M.D. “As a physician who has operated on babies as young as 22 weeks gestation, I am proud of our work on behalf of the most vulnerable among us – to protect the lives of the unborn from an industry that puts profits before the value and dignity of human life.”
“The Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives succeeded in uncovering shameful practices, which undermined the very foundations of ethical American scientific research and have led to 15 criminal and regulatory referrals. Over the course of its year-long investigation of fetal tissue procurement companies and abortion businesses, the Select Panel found evidence that several tissue procurement companies and abortion clinics may have violated federal felony laws prohibiting the sale of human fetal tissue. As a physician and researcher, it is my sincere hope that our investigation and the subsequent referrals have put an end to these shady and unethical practices,” said Congressman Andy Harris, M.D.
"I’m honored to have served on the Select Panel on Infant Lives because it played a pivotal role in uncovering the big business that is the fetal tissue procurement industry. In the course of our investigation, our panel requested the banking and accounting records from many institutions to verify those businesses’ activities. Although many complied, StemExpress, a major procurement business, did not. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that they are held accountable in the 115th Congress," said Congressman Sean Duffy.
"The Select Investigative Panel has worked hard to uncover the illegal and highly repulsive activities of the organizations involved in the sale and trafficking of baby body parts. Now it is up to the judicial system to hold the perpetrators accountable and up to Congress and the new Administration to see that these heinous acts are continued no longer. The way we treat our young, our weak, and our voiceless does matter. History will hold us accountable for these atrocities," said Congressman Joseph R. Pitts.
WASHINGTON- U.S. Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Diane Black (R-TN), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Stephen Fincher (R-TN), Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), Phil Roe (R-TN) and U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Bob Corker (R-TN) Applaud Passage of H.R. 6135 – To designate the Federal building and United States courthouse located at 719 Church Street in Nashville, Tennessee, as the “Fred D. Thompson Federal Building and United States Courthouse”
Congressman Blackburn said: “From the start of his career in Sen. Howard Baker’s office, Fred Thompson was dedicated to first principles and conservative values. Thompson went to school in Lawrence County and his contributions were appreciated and respected by all Tennesseans. Passing legislation to name the federal courthouse in Nashville after him is a great way to show our respect for his commitment to the people of Tennessee. Senator Alexander filed the companion legislation in the Senate and my colleagues and I look forward to its passage there.”
Congressman Black said: “Fred Thompson was a statesman who led with conviction, and he was a visionary who helped turn our state into the conservative success story that it is today. Tennessee shines brighter because of Fred Thompson’s service. This courthouse will serve as a worthy tribute to his enduring legacy.”
Congressman Cohen said: “It is an honor to be a cosponsor of this bipartisan bill to honor my friend Fred Thompson. Fred served the United States Senate and the state of Tennessee with distinction for 8 years. He was a proud graduate of the University of Memphis and the only U of M grad to ever serve in the Senate. I was present when the National Conference of State Legislatures awarded him the Restoring the Balance Award for his dedication to federalism. For Fred, it was not a political or campaign issue, it was his philosophy. Despite our different political parties, Fred was always encouraging to me and I valued our friendship. He led an eclectic life from his time as an outstanding congressional staffer during the Watergate hearings and as a fine attorney, actor, and public servant. It is most appropriate that we name the federal courthouse in Nashville after this great American.”
Congressman Fincher said: “I am proud to recognize Fred Thompson as a great public servant and great Tennessean. As a prominent figure, he never strayed from his small-town Tennessee values and always conducted himself with integrity. This federal courthouse will serve as a testament to his lifetime pursuit of justice and as an inspiration for those who walk in his footsteps.”
Congressman Fleischmann said: “Senator Thompson had incredible career as a U.S. attorney, columnist, actor, and legislator. Most importantly, however, he was a proud Tennessean and I’m pleased that a Federal Courthouse will soon bear his name.”
Congressman Roe said: “Senator Thompson rose from humble beginnings to national prominence through hard work and perseverance. Fred dedicated much of his life to serving the state of Tennessee and this great country, and I am proud to join the Tennessee delegation to honor the memory of a great man I was lucky to call a friend.”
Senator Alexander said:“I am pleased the House voted to name the new Nashville federal courthouse in honor of Fred Thompson whose career as an attorney, Senate investigator, actor and United States Senator made him one of Tennessee’s most celebrated public figures. I look forward to the Senate taking up this legislation and passing it before the end of the year.”
Senator Corker said:“Fred Thompson served the people of Tennessee and our country with great distinction.Through his many different roles in public life, Fred never forgot where he came from, and our state and country miss his common sense approach to public service. I was proud to call him a friend and am pleased to join my colleagues to honor his life in this way.”
|BLACKBURN RELEASES CLINTON FOUNDATION REPORT|
Congressman Marsha Blackburn (TN07) has released a 78-page report entitled: The Clinton Foundation And The “India Success Story”: Self-Serving Philanthropy, Watered-Down Drugs, and Money in sub-Saharan Africa.
The “India success story” details the Clinton Foundation’s partnership with drug companies Ranbaxy, Matrix and Cipla in the subcontinent beginning in October 23, 2003. The Foundation joined the drug companies with the goal of combating HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa by getting less expensive medications into afflicted countries. This relationship saw the companies mature quickly and become acquisition targets for larger global pharmaceutical entities. It also resulted in encouragement for the disregard of intellectual property standards, the likely use of taxpayer money, through PEPFAR, to distribute watered down drugs that “subjected patients to increased risks of morbidity and mortality” , donations to the Foundation, and possible kickbacks in the form of million dollar consulting contracts to President Clinton from the friend of convicted felon and Ranbaxy advocate, Rajat Gupta.
· The Clinton Foundation Likely Facilitated The Distribution of Watered Down HIV/AIDS Medications In sub-Saharan Africa Through Its Health Access Initiative
· The Distribution of Watered Down HIV/AIDS Medications In sub-Saharan Africa May Have Increased Patient Mortality Rates
·Watered Down HIV/AIDS ARVs Were Purchased With Taxpayer Money Through PEPFAR As A Result of Price Agreements, Some of Which Were Likely Negotiated By The Clinton Foundation
·President Clinton Was Personally Enriched With Million Dollar Consulting Contracts By A Friend of Convicted Felon, and Ranbaxy advocate, Rajat Gupta From 2002-2008Read More
217 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Growing up, Marsha Blackburn learned that the promise of our nation depends on each generation of Americans working hard to leave the country a better place than they found it. As a small business woman, author, mother, grandmother, and Member of Congress, Marsha Blackburn has dedicated her service to the sacred obligation all citizens have to their communities: making Tennessee and America a better, more prosperous, and freer place.
Congressman Blackburn began her elected service career in 1998 as a Tennessee State Senator. Blackburn’s Senate career was marked by her commitment to fiscal common sense and government accountability. She became known to her constituents for holding “budget school” in her district and across the state; identifying waste and offering solutions for a state in a budget crunch.
While serving in the Tennessee Senate, Blackburn led a statewide grassroots campaign to defeat a proposed state income tax. She earned the reputation as a champion of anti-tax and government reform issues, frequently appearing on local talk radio and even earning the attention of national publications like the Wall Street Journal and conservative groups such as Americans for Tax Reform.
Blackburn’s reputation for focusing on individual freedom and free enterprise boosted her from the Tennessee Senate to the U.S. House of Representatives. Blackburn was first elected to represent Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District in 2002, quickly becoming a leader in Congress and a leading voice advocating for a small, efficient federal government that is accountable to its citizens. She is regularly praised by good government groups like the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the Farm Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council and the American Conservative Union. She has been named a Taxpayer Hero by Americans for Tax Reform each year she has served in Congress. In 2007 Blackburn received the Conservative Leadership Award from the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute.
Congressman Blackburn is often selected by her colleagues to lead the charge for common sense reform. In February 2010 she was selected to represent conservative views on health care reform at the President’s Blair House Summit. She has served on the majority and minority whip teams since her election in 2002, and holds a seat on the vital Energy and Commerce Committee which has jurisdiction over health care, energy regulation, and telecommunications issues. In 2006 the Independent Electrical Contractors recognized her as their Lawmaker of the Year.
Marsha has earned a special reputation as a bi-partisan leader and policy expert on telecommunications issues and intellectual property rights. She has strong ties with Tennessee’s recording industry and the songwriters and performers who make it great. In 2003 Blackburn founded and serves as Chairman of the Congressional Songwriters Caucus to give the nation’s creative community a voice on Capitol Hill. In 2007, she was awarded the Congressional Grammy by the Recording Academy; the White Hat award from the Nashville Songwriters Association and in 2008 received the Platinum Award from the RIAA.
In 2012, Health IT Now presented her with the HITN Innovation Award for her work in support of innovative solutions to our most pressing healthcare problems. Marsha has also been honored by the Family Research Council and the Susan B. Anthony list for her pro-life, pro-family work. And recognized by the Association of Children’s Hospitals and the American College of Radiology for her leadership on healthcare issues. In April 2013 at the “Women Run The World” Half Marathon in New York City, More Magazine recognized Blackburn for her service in government by honoring her as one of 10 women who are making a difference in the world.
Blackburn was selected to serve as Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee for the 113th Congress where she will continue to serve on four critical Subcommittees: Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade (CMT); Oversight; Health; and Communications and Technology. She serves on the House Budget Committee and is a founding member of the Republican Women’s Policy Committee. Blackburn is also a member of the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board.
Marsha and her husband Chuck live in Williamson County, Tennessee. They have two children, Mary Morgan Ketchel and Chad Blackburn; and two grandsons. Blackburn is a native of Laurel, Mississippi and graduate of Mississippi State University.
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Love meeting with young Tennesseans and sharing what it's like to be in Congress. Brings back memories from when my… https://t.co/SbalSjBKHg
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Loved having our Military Service Academy nomination recipients in our office this morning to celebrate their accom… https://t.co/EuB3EkMURY
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Happy to do my part to get this country on the right track for future generations. https://t.co/B8TIutiY3q
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My thanks to the City of Fairview for having me today. As always, it's a pleasure to hear from you. https://t.co/HBjVv9LT8Y
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One of my favorite things is meeting with our youngest Tennesseans and sharing what it's like to be in Congress! Brings back many memories from