Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer has voted for a resolution directing U.S. House committees to develop a new health-care legislation.
Luetkemeyer's Thursday vote came one day after the new Republican-dominated U.S. House voted 245-189 to repeal the health care law passed last year. However, the Democratic majority in the Senate is expected to let the current health care law stand.
Luetkemeyer said the nation needs health care reform but not the version passed by the former Democratic majority in the House.
Luetkemeyer said he wants legislation that would craft new health care reform that will "help steer our country back in the right direction."
Luetkemeyer said more than tweaking of the law is necessary "The health care law needs to be replaced with real reform," he said.
"When I go home and talk to Missouri employers, they tell me that instead of health care insurance premiums going down they have actually increased 25 to 40 percent," Luetkemeyer said.
The 9th District Congressman said instead of improving access to care, doctors are retiring in record numbers. "True reform," he said, "would be to pass lawsuit reforms so doctors can faithfully perform their jobs of taking care of their patients. I also support increasing access to insurance by allowing small businesses to pool together to get the best plan for their employees."
Luetkemeyer said Republicans support "a common sense approach to health care reform that controls costs and provides the quality of care that Americans deserve."
The resolution approved directs House committees "to craft alternative health-care legislation that would lower costs, improve patients' access to care, while protecting the doctor-patient relationship, a fundamental cornerstone of our health-care system."
Luetkemeyer said 200 economists sent a joint open letter to congressional leaders calling for the new federal health-care law to be repealed and replaced. He said the economists included former Congressional Budget Office directors, Federal Reserve Bank economists, former White House officials and a nobel laureate.
"All agree that the current law includes two ingredients that could significantly damage the economy: more than $500 billion in tax increases at a time of record-high unemployment and massive amounts of new government spending at a time when the federal government is running trillion-dollar deficits," Luetkemeyer said.
The new health care law, he said, busts the nation's budget and does nothing to lower health-care costs for the average American.
"The $1.2 trillion health-care law enlarges government and increases federal spending, deficits and debt," Luetkemeyer said. "It also initiates a government takeover of the health-care sector - one-sixth of the U.S. economy. In all, the bill increases total spending by $2.6 trillion and raises taxes by more than a half-trillion dollars during the next 10 years - the largest tax increase in history - and cuts more than a half-trillion dollars from Medicare to finance a new entitlement, All the while, the nation's unemployment rate has been hovering around 10 percent."