What they said on the doc fix … in 2009

In 2009, conservatives and Republicans were united in their demand that any repeal of Medicare’s SGR be fully offset… 

John Boehner (R-OH): Irresponsible ‘Doc Fix’ Proves Democrats “Cannot Help Themselves” (November 19, 2009)

”This irresponsible ‘doc fix’ proves once again that out-of-touch Washington Democrats simply cannot help themselves when it comes to piling debt on our kids and grandkids. Democrats continue to add tens of billions of dollars to the deficit while promising to eventually end their unprecedented spending binge.”

John Boehner (R-OH): Congressional Record (November 19, 2009)

That’s the real issue here, the fact that there is no pay-for here. There is no offsetting other types of spending. There are no increases in revenue somewhere to cover this. It’s just going to be dumped onto the backs of our kids and grandkids. The American people want us to relearn fiscal responsibility. My colleagues on my side of the aisle over the course of this year have stood up, I believe, for fiscal responsibility. And if we’re going to get our economy going again, we’d better get our fiscal house in order as well.

Joe Barton (R-TX): Congressional Record (November 19, 2009)

Mr. Speaker, the only fix that’s in this bill before us is “the fix is in.” …  It is a wave the magic wand, erase the accumulated deficit of the last 10 years or so in the SGR formula, and let’s kick the can on down the road.

Ed Whitfield (R-KY): Congressional Record (November 19, 2009)

As I have said, both parties have a lot of blame for the debt that we’re in, and the American people want us to be responsible. We have a $12 trillion debt today. Within 10 years, it’s supposed to be $23 trillion. At some point, we have to meet our obligation, meet our responsibility and try to pay for some of these programs. All of us support the purpose of this legislation, but there must be a way that we can do it and have it paid for. So for that reason, I would have great difficulty voting for this legislation without it being clearly paid for.

Kevin Brady (R-TX): Congressional Record (November 19, 2009)

… it forces Americans to borrow another $279 billion from China and pass the bill of debt down to our grandchildren to pay, all to hide the cost of this health care reform in Washington. This is irresponsible, and it’s the wrong way.

Paul Ryan (R-WI): Congressional Record (November 19, 2009)

I have a score from the Congressional Budget Office which I will insert into the Record that says this thing raises the deficit by $210 billion.  … We should do this in a bipartisan way, fix it without cranking a huge hole in the deficit, and if the majority would have allowed us to bring a bill to do that, we could have done just that. It’s cynical. We know this bill is not going anywhere. So let’s get back to work and fix this problem without cranking up a huge hole in the deficit.

Peter Roskam (R-IL): Congressional Record (November 19, 2009)

Can you imagine what would happen if this House came together and said, No, no, no, no, no. We’re actually going to take this seriously. We’re going to deal with this debt question, and we’re going to lean into it in such a way that gives, what, a buoyancy to the American economy as opposed to continuing to drag down.  With all due respect to the majority leader when he was on the House floor a bit ago, he argued, in essence, don’t worry about it because it’s in the President’s budget.

Charles Boustany (R-LA): Congressional Record (November 19, 2009)

What we need to do is repeal the flawed SGR formula and replace it with a more equitable reimbursement for physicians that is paid for. This bill ignores over $200 billion in added deficit spending. …  Let’s support a real solution that’s honest with physicians and treats them fairly, and a solution that avoids massive debt passed on to our children and grandchildren.

Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ): Congressional Record (November 19, 2009)

I have supported Medicare fee “fix” legislation over the years. However, this bill is different. It is not “paid for” and presents another unnecessary blow to our embattled taxpayers and future generations of Americans. Enough is enough! We have to stop spending borrowed federal dollars like there is no tomorrow!

Tom Price (R-GA): Congressional Record (November 19, 2009)

And though the underlying bill is an acknowledgement that there is a huge problem and may be a step in the right direction, it exacerbates the phenomenal fiscal recklessness of this administration and the majority party. .. We can continue to march further and further to the liberal left and bankrupt our Nation’s future, or we can restore fiscal sanity to an overgrown and unrestrained Federal budget. Our motion to recommit is a step in the right direction, not another plan that further adds to our Nation’s debt and contributes to the financial ruin of future generations.

Wall Street Journal’s Review & Outlook: The $1.9 Trillion Gimmick (November 19, 2009)

Any day now, the House is expected to vote on a $210 billion fiscal swindle that will prevent automatic cuts in Medicare payments to doctors. … Everyone agrees that the SGR must be corrected, given that steeper cuts in Medicare’s submarket price controls mean that many physicians will refuse to treat seniors—but not without cleaning up the mess created by the prior cost-control inspirations of the political class. A new Heritage Foundation study by the former Medicare trustee Thomas Saving and economist Andrew Rettenmaier finds that eliminating the SGR without offsets will increase Medicare’s unfunded liabilities by $1.9 trillion over the next 75 years.

Americans for Tax Reform: ATR May Rate a Vote Against “Doc-Fix” Without Spending Cuts (October 20, 2009)

Americans for Tax Reform MAY RATE a vote against a doc-fix measure which is not 100% offset with spending reductions.  ATR also opposes and MAY RATE a vote against any tax revenue increases to “pay for” a doc-fix bill.  The ratings appear annually in ATR’s “Hero of the Taxpayer” scorecard.

Fully offsetting a repeal of the SGR was the GOP’s position as recently as this January…

Joseph R. Pitts (R-PA): Opening Statement at Hearing on “A Permanent Solution to the SGR: The Time Is Now” (January 21, 2015)

  • Coming up with approximately $140 billion in offsets will not be easy, but it is a task we must embrace. Some argue that SGR reform does not need to be paid for. I respectfully disagree.
  • [A]s a purely practical matter, for the bill to pass the House of Representatives and Senate, it must include sensible offsets.
  • [T]he American people expect Congress to live within our means. The American people expect Congress to reduce the debt and prioritize spending. It`s our responsibility to lead accordingly.
  • [N]ot paying for SGR reform would ignore past precedent from Congress – whether it was controlled by Democrats or Republicans.
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