As we come to the final days of session before the August recess, Democrats are rushing to pass a trillion-dollar government health-care plan paid for by small businesses. This final act comes on the heels of passage of the national energy tax as well as the failed stimulus effort that put pork before job creation.
Republicans recognize that we also must present our ideas directly to the American people, without the typical media filters and pundit analysis. A few weeks ago, Congressional leaders, along with an expert panel of national figures from across the country, came together to launch the National Council for a New America (NCNA). This informal caucus began a conversation with the American people based on the Reagan model of reaching outside Washington to find a way to make our conservative ideas relevant to the American people.
Tonight, NCNA will continue this effort by participating in Pajamas TV’s virtual online health-care forum along with think tanks and outside experts. Using this cutting-edge medium, we will engage voters and respond to their comments and ideas about health reform through e-mail, PJTV.com, YouTube, and Twitter.
To be clear, we do not support the status quo. We understand the need for reform and we have put forward a set of core principles that must be a part of any health-care package:
* A commitment that all Americans who like what they have — choice of doctor, timely care, and access to the treatments prescribed by their physician — can keep it;
* Access to an affordable, basic plan for those who lack coverage;
* A strengthened safety net for those who need it;
* A renewed commitment to the research and innovation that will yield the best treatments and cures.
Sadly, the legislation currently racing through the House to meet the White House’s arbitrary August recess deadline follows us down a far more dangerous course. It’s not only Republicans and spooked Blue Dogs who are saying it. A recent study by the nonpartisan Lewin Group predicts that two out of three Americans who receive their health care from their employer would lose it.
There’s a better way forward for American health care than the one spawned by single-party control over Washington. Conservatives participating in the Pajamas TV forum and other avenues look forward to engaging the American people as we lay out our vision. We hope that you can join us tomorrow evening, prior to the latest presidential press conference.
— Eric Cantor is the Republican Whip for the 111th Congress.