Hoekstra and Rogers: Democrats idea of health care reform will bring a lot of taxes and uncertainty

U.S. Representative Mike Rogers said it’s clear to him how the Democrats will find the $1.8 trillion he says they need to pay for their national health care reform.
“They are going to tax you to death,” Rogers told a crowd Friday.

Rogers, a Republican from Brighton, was in Dearborn on Monday along with U.S. Representative Peter Hoekstra, a Republican from Holland, for the Michigan Business & Legislative Forum annual conference. It was hosted by the Michigan Business & Professional Association.

Hoekstra said when politicians say, “I don’t know” at health care forums, it is not because they haven’t read the bill. He said it was because the politicians “punted” the tough decisions in the bill to a “health care commissioner” whose rulings will determine much of how reform takes place.

Hoekstra said there were 189 times in the bill that made reference to a ruling by the health care commissioner.

“We will all be guessing until that decision is actually made,” he said.

Rogers serves on the health care sub committee. The Senate Finance Committee is planning to vote Tuesday on its health care bill. Rogers told the crowd the U.S. House will pass its bill and with the Senate’s version, President Barack Obama is “working it very hard.”

He said the version of the health care reform bill he read will allow for abortions. Rogers said the bill also makes employers pay 72.5 percent of the health care premiums for part-time employees.

“I don’t think people will pay that much for a cheeseburger at McDonalds,” Rogers said.

Rogers has introduced the American Health Care Solutions Act earlier this week. That act is a compilation of 50 bills that addressed problems in health care “without government invention.”

Rogers said there were plenty of solutions to a lot of the problems with health care that could be done right away that didn’t involve the government.

Among other things, his bill allows for small businesses to pool employees with other small businesses to get better rates, something not allowed today, Rogers said.

Hoekstra said the health care debate was really “an issue about freedom.”

The federal government will take over 18 percent of the economy and there will be a “massive shift from markets to bureaucrats,” Hoekstra said.

“Where does the government lead in quality and excellence?” Hoekstra asked the crowd.

Hoekstra said a lot of people in the business community have thrown their hands up in the air over health care and are resigned to a government takeover.

“Guess what? We will back to take another piece,” he said.

At one point, Hoekstra corrected a man in the audience who had chided insurance companies for profiting on health care.

“Don’t – please – don’t make insurance company profits evil,” Hoekstra said. “How many in this room make a profit?

Hoekstra said profits should be a reward to anyone who delivers quality and excellence in health care.

“High profits mean a lot of satisfied customers,” Hoekstra said.