WASHINGTON, D.C.óToday Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) issued the following statement on H.R. 5, the PATH Act:
Obamacare is unconstitutional and must be repealed in its entirety. That is why I voted for the full repeal of the Presidentís nationalized healthcare bill, including the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). I have also introduced legislation to defund the individual mandate provision of Obamacare. Although I fully support the repeal of IPAB and have cosponsored legislation to repeal it (H.R. 452), I cannot support final passage of H.R. 5 because the bill includes provisions that I believe violate statesí rights and the 10th Amendment. As a strict constitutionalist and a fierce defender of statesí rights, I cannot accept replacing one unconstitutional law with another.
H.R. 5 imposes a federal medical liability cap on the states. In effect, this allows the federal government to overrule the state governments that have decided to prohibit liability caps. Five states already have constitutional prohibitions on liability caps. I believe that H.R. 5 will supersede these state constitutions and override the will of those legislatures. I myself believe in medical liability caps, like we have in Texas; however, if another stateís voters do not want such reform, that is their decision to make. And, their doctors are welcome to keep coming to Texas.
To protect statesí rights, I introduced an amendment to H.R. 5 that would prevent the bill from preempting any state liability cap that is currently in effect. Unfortunately, my amendment was not accepted.
If this bill had been modified to ensure that statesí rights were fully protected, it would have had my full support. Repealing IPAB should not come at the expense of putting constitutionally protected statesí rights in jeopardy.