July 31, 2009 -Congressman Trent Franks(R - AZ) today released a statement on the ongoing debate over the Democrats' proposed government takeover of health care:
"Regrettably, the debate over fixing ourhealth care systemseems to be widely understood as an argument between those who are 'for'health care reformand those who are against it. The issue is not that Republicans do not want to see the health care system fixed; the issue is that Republicans want to do just that -- FIX the system.The Democrats' plan would only put additional financial strain on Americans, while Republicans are offering a superior alternative that would actually work.
"We are not dealing with a new idea when talking about the Democrats' health care proposal.Socialized medicinehasbeen tried before, and it has failed. Consider Canada, as an example, where citizens are actually now making constitutional challenges in court to regain freedom over theirhealth care choices. In 2008, over 750,000 Canadians waited a median of 17.3 weeks before they were even able to secure a mandatory referral from a general-practitioner, which would then allow them to get actual treatment. That's 17.3 weeksjustfor a referral! That is by no means the kind of 'reform' Americans are looking for.
"Instead of further breaking the system with heavy-handed government mandates, I supportalternative health carereform proposals, such as theEmpowering Patients First Act,which was introduced by theRepublican Study Committeeand is a budget-neutral, comprehensive solution forhealth care reform. And the Republican alternative would ensure thathealth care decisionsremain in the hands of patients, not bureaucrats.
"Americans are right to aspire to a better, more efficient model of healthcare, but unless we're willing to endure overcrowded hospital rooms, inferior technology, and tremendously long waiting lists, America should not look to model our system after nations, like Canada or England, with socializedhealth care industries. Instead, we must embrace policies that encourage market competition and consumer empowerment to help reduce the growth of overallhealth care costs, thus making affordable, quality health care attainable for every American, without putting health care decisions in the government's incapable hands."