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Washington, DC, Sep 20, 2013 | comments

WASHINGTON, DC - Iowa Congressman Tom Latham voted Friday on a measure that protects hardworking American taxpayers from a government shutdown and from full implementation of the President’s unpopular new health care law.

The measure Latham supported prevents a shutdown of the federal government on October 1st and blocks implementation of the Affordable Care Act, more commonly referred to as Obamacare, on the same October date.

“Iowans want two things right now – protection from the harmful impact of Obamacare and a federal government that stays open and continues to provide vital services to Americans,” said Latham.  “Today the House of Representatives passed, in bipartisan fashion, legislation that will accomplish both.”

Ever since the passage of the health care law in 2010, an ever-growing number of Americans are deciding that the law is not the common sense path our nation should be taking on much needed health care reforms citing the instability created by the law in our health care system, restricting patient choice and exploding costs that will hamper the economy.  One of the most striking examples of this trend was when the presidents of three of the nation’s largest labor unions, including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, released a letter to Democratic leaders in congress warning that Obamacare would “shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.”

Noting his belief in the need for health care reform that replaces the bad approach taken by Obamacare, Latham is introducing his own legislation which would control health care costs, expand access to quality health care for uninsured Americans and wouldn’t add a penny to the federal debt.

“My bill provides a solution made up of better ideas that offer better solutions that will produce the best results for everyone.  It is a serious, patient-centered approach that gives the American people a voice in this process and puts them in control of their own health care, not the government,” Congressman Latham said.

Congressman Latham, who opposed the health care law when it was first passed by Congress in 2010, has repeatedly stood on principle and fought to repeal the new health care law full of harmful provisions  while pushing for his legislation as a better solution.  His legislation retains two of the most universally popular provisions in the new health care law that guarantees affordable health care to those with pre-existing conditions and allows children to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until the age of 26.

His bill also:
-- Greatly reduces the cost of individual health policies by allowing a full deduction for health insurance premiums - whether or not a taxpayer itemizes deductions.
-- It allows health insurance plans to be purchased across state lines.
-- It establishes nationwide small business health plans, so small employers can pool together to negotiate for lower premiums for workers.
-- It contains real medical liability reform, saving money by reining in unnecessary medical procedures.
-- It enhances health savings accounts by allowing taxpayers to use HSA funds to pay the premiums for the health insurance plan that is paired with the account.
-- It cracks down on Medicare and Medicaid fraud, saving billions.

Latham is also introducing legislation that protects seniors, veterans, military personnel and core public safety functions and obligations in the event that the federal government is forced into a shutdown because of Senate or Presidential inaction.

The legislation guarantees that the federal government would use available revenues that would continue to come into the treasury to provide payments to Social Security recipients, veterans, military personnel and requires that the government has the spending authority to meet Medicare, national security and public safety obligations if there were a shutdown.

“The statements of the past few days make it clear to Americans that the White House and Senate leaders are steering our nation towards a disastrous shutdown of the government which would create pain and uncertainty for millions.  My legislation ensures that the government meets its most important obligations to the American people and the most vulnerable.  It sets priorities and protects our men and women in uniform and the seniors who rely on Social Security and Medicare to make ends meet each week – so that they can live without the fear of going without because of disagreements in Washington.”  

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