NUNES: Today Dems give seniors $85 for glasses. Next week, they’ll take away your cure for ALS.

September 10, 2021 — Blog    — Health    — Opening Statements    — Press Releases   

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite fiscal instability in Medicare, Democrats are pushing to expand the health care seniors rely on, threatening retirees, patients, hardworking Americans, and Main Street businesses, top Republican on the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) said.

 

Rep. Nunes said:

 

Despite the deep divisions within their own caucus, the Democrats demand we pay for these expansions at patients’ expense or on the backs of workers and small businesses through job-killing tax hikes…. Today Dems give seniors $85 for glasses. Next week, they’ll take away your cure for ALS.”

 

CLICK HERE to watch Rep. Nunes’ opening statement.

 

CLICK HERE to watch the full hearing.

 

KEY BACKGROUND:

 

  • Democrats’ proposals will put Washington in control of Americans’ medical decisions while leaving working Americans and small businesses struggling with the burden of higher taxes.
  • President Biden’s $210 billion expansion of Obamacare subsidies does nothing to address the increasing cost of care.
  • Democrats’ HR 3 Fewer Cures bill could lead to as many as 100 fewer drugs entering the United States market over the next decade, or about one-third of the total number of drugs expected to enter the market during that time, raises prices on seniors or limit their access to prescription drugs, and devalue the lives of and discriminate against people with disabilities and those with chronic illnesses.
  • In 2019, Republicans voted to expand dental, hearing, and vision benefits and sought a bipartisan agreement on common sense pay-fors free from the disastrous price setting scheme proposed in H.R. 3. Two years on, and our Democrat colleagues have ignored these requests.

 

READ: Brady: Biden Insists on Putting Washington inControl of Americans’ Life-or-Death Medical Decisions

 

Rep. Nunes’s full opening statement appears below.

 

Today, my Democrat colleagues are continuing their destructive mission to expand Medicare without securing the program for those in or near retirement. Instead of debating fundamental reforms that will protect Medicare for future generations, we are wasting our time adding a series of so-called benefits into the unsustainable Medicare fee-for service system.

 

In fact, the legislation before us fails to recognize that Congress has already created a successful program to provide seniors with supplemental dental, hearing, and vision benefits: Medicare Advantage. The private plans offered by Medicare Advantage continue to deliver lower costs, better patient protections, and higher quality care for patients who enroll.

 

So, if these benefits are already available through private Medicare Advantage plans—which charge $0 monthly premiums and come with an out-of-pocket cap, unlike fee-for-service—then why aren’t Democrats strengthening Medicare Advantage? Because it does not achieve my Democrat friends’ mission: a socialist takeover of the healthcare system.

 

In 2019, Republicans on this committee voted to expand dental, hearing, and vision benefits. Despite our concerns, we voted to advance that process so we could receive a complete CBO analysis and then negotiate a bipartisan agreement on common sense pay-fors free from the disastrous price setting scheme proposed in H.R. 3. Two years on, and our Democrat colleagues have ignored these requests.

 

Instead, despite the deep divisions within their own caucus, the Democrats demand we pay for these expansions at patients’ expense or on the backs of workers and small businesses through job-killing tax hikes. We may not be marking up Democrats’ government takeover of drug pricing or tax hikes today, but make no mistake, the addition of these Medicare benefits can only be paid for by passing H.R. 3, along with that bill’s pernicious choice between fewer cures or growth-crushing tax hikes. Today, they’re saying they’ll give seniors $85 for glasses. Next week, they’ll take away your cure for ALS.

 

My Democratic colleagues continue to choose a partisan path instead of working with us on common sense reforms that will actually help patients. 

 

Today, committee Republicans will instead offer amendments that demonstrate our commitment to ensuring seniors have access to the health care they need in an affordable, sustainable way; that Medicare keeps its promises to those in and near retirement; and that critical patient benefits now in jeopardy are preserved.

 

If we abandon common-sense bipartisan solutions in favor of the one-size-fits-all Washington mandates before us today, we will be placing a down payment on a socialist, government-run health care system.

 

Thank you and I yield back.