Rep. Eric Cantor Urges Repeal of Health Care Law

Jul 12, 2011


Today in a keynote address at the Chamber's health care event, Controlling Costs: The Price of Good Health, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor declared the health care law to be "the wrong policy" that is "built on wrong assumptions, and [is] fundamentally flawed." Cantor wants to repeal the law because "there's no ability to improve a flawed product."

Cantor briefly walked the audience through the history of the health care law. He said at some point the focus of health care reform in Congress moved from lowering health care costs to increasing coverage. That led to the government "requir[ing] people to buy insurance." That part of the law is being challenged in the federal courts.

Cantor noted less health care innovation as one negative effect of current health care policies. Because of the uncertainty from future Independent Payment Advisory Board, IPAB, rulings--an agency created by the health care law--along with increased difficulty in getting FDA approval of new technologies and drugs, American health care investment will decrease. "We're going to suffer and see less innovation, less risk-taking," said Cantor.

Cantor offered a framework to bring rising health care costs under control. First, "start with the notion of increasing more choices." Then government "ought to provide incentives for employers" to lower costs. Some specific ideas from Cantor included: allowing the purchase of insurance across state lines; medical malpractice reform; and "patient-centered health care."

Free Enterprise Magazine reported on the urgency for action:

“If we don’t get health care costs under control, our economic recovery will be further stalled,” said Bruce Josten, executive vice president for Government Affairs for the U.S. Chamber. “The escalating cost of health care is a primary contributor to our debt and deficit problem. Unless we find a way to curtail rising health care costs, we face an ever widening sea of red ink in which the economy will drown. If we do not reform our health care entitlements, there is little hope that we can restore our nation’s finances.”

The CAHC-released study, Treating Our Ills and Killing Our Prospects, shows how rising health care costs will erode worker take home pay unless cost-cutting reforms are implemented. The added cost of benefits alone could absorb half of a worker’s productivity rewards between now and 2030, according to the study.

“This study underscores the fact that if health care costs continue to rise, we will have less individual prosperity,” CAHC Executive Director Joel White said.

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