Phil Roe Supports Bill That Enables Medicare Fraud
Phil Roe (R-TN) represents the first congressional district in the state. He ran for Congress in 2008 on a platform of change. However, he has changed nothing about politics. Upon his entry in the race in 2008, Phil Roe harshly criticized then Representative David Davis, whom he was challenging in the congressional republican primary, for accepting donations from oil companies to his campaign. Unfortunately for Phil Roe, the facts just don’t add up. There are many factors that play a significant role in fluctuation of gasoline prices.
The first is the cost of crude oil, which makes up over two thirds of the price of gasoline, as well as the fluctuation of demand. The prices go up in the summer and down in the winter, simply because more Americans are traveling on vacations and family outings. Hurricanes, geography, and taxes can play a huge role, says CSMonitor. Phil Roe criticizing David Davis wasn’t just factually incorrect, it was blatently dishonest. If someone like me can do a simple search and discover the truth, so could someone running for Congress.
Another contributing factor in the prices of gasoline can include the changing blends of gasoline. During the summer, the ethanol blend is changed to a more expensive blend that allegedly reduces smog. This is another reason why we need to get ethonol out of our gasoline. It’s simply costing us too much money to justify, but by no means is that David Davis’ fault. There is a long list of both Democratic and Republican lawmakers who are bought and paid for by the ethanol industry.
That’s not the worst part, however. In 2008 when gas prices were on the rise, Democrats used the same talking points against the Republicans. Many Democrats, including those who were in leadership, accused Republicans of being in the pocket of big oil, with Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi stating that a major contributor to the oil price hike was due to the two “oil men” in the White House, and Phil Roe went along with this bogus argument, using it to his political advantage as he decried Davis’ supposed corruption.
But hold on, what about Phil Roe’s own corruption? In 2014, Phil Roe was given $7,750 from Mountain State Health Alliance, a corporation that owners several hospitals in Eastern Tennessee and Southwestern Virginia, and then decided he would efforts rooting out waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare when he co-sponsored a bill that gutted the Recovery Audit Contract (RAC), a program that audited Medicare to route out frivilous spending and potential hospital overcharges. This is nothing short of typical Washington D.C. hypocrisy that we see all too often in our politicians. It’s no wonder our leaders have a record-low confidence level with people like Roe running the show.
We, as voters have a remedy. We must end Phil Roe’s political career now. He’s an ineffective, corrupt liar who has no place in public office. Those who hold office must learn to respect the people they claim to represent, and if they don’t, they prove their unworthiness for service.
Phil Roe votes consistently in favor of Big Government
Congressman Phil Roe (R-TN), who represents the first district of Tennessee, claims to be all about people and not politics. Cong. Roe claims to be conservative, including fiscally conservative. But his voting record in Congress proves otherwise. As Congress and our current president have stomped on the accelerator taking us rapidly closer to $20 trillion in national debt, Cong. Roe has been part of the problem, voting for federal spending out of control.
We the people elected a Republican majority to Congress in 2010, and expanded that majority in the 2014 mid-term elections. But despite that, the Congress passed the Ryan-Murray budget, co-sponsored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), with 169 Republican votes and 163 Democrat votes in 2013. Roe was one of the Republicans voting in favor of the Ryan-Murray budget, which passed by a 332-94 vote.
Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) called the budget a “terrible plan” and said “it makes promises to the American people that are false. Today the Democrats realized they were right all along, that we would never hold the line on the sequester.” Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) were among the Republicans that voted against the plan, while Roe voted in favor of it.
One terrible provision of the Ryan-Murray budget involved cutting the cost of living adjustments for our retired military veterans, cutting their monthly retirement checks. This reduction in what is owed to the very people who risked so much in service to us, and protecting our country, is entirely unacceptable. And Phil Roe, who talks a good game about standing up for veterans, voted in favor of this cut in their retirement benefits. Phil Roe should be ashamed of having cast this vote. It is one thing for liberal Democrats, who loathe the military as Bill Clinton wrote in the late 1960s to cast this vote, but quite another for one who claims to be a Republican and support our veterans.
Heritage Action, The Club for Growth, and FreedomWorks all opposed the terrible Ryan-Murray budget plan because it fails to cut spending where it needs to be cut, fails to balance the budget, and it fails to enact key reforms needed to reduce government to proper Constitutional levels and balance the budget. Ryan-Murray is a liberal big government at its worst, and Phil Roe voted for it.
After the so-called government shutdown charade in 2014, in which very little of the government was shut down, Phil Roe voted in favor of the gigantic omnibus spending bill that Congress passed after that episode. This was one of many such continuing resolutions, that fully funded big government and Obamacare, that Roe voted for, in direction opposition to the interests of his constituents and the country at large, but in favor of the special interests and K Street lobbyist he dutifully serves in Congress.
Roe voted in favor of reauthorizing BrandUSA in 2014, which is nothing more than a tourism slush fund that uses federal taxing authority to finance profits. Additionally, he voted in favor of T-HUD appropriations in 2012, increasing funds for Amtrak, the Essential Air Service, community development block grants, and other wasteful spending. Roe also voted in favor of the 2011 debt ceiling deal, which increased the debt by $2.4 trillion – the largest increase in American history that undermined GOP unity behind a balanced budget.
It is no coincidence that Roe has a 60 percent liberty score, as compiled by Conservative Review, based on his voting record in Congress. He consistently votes for the big government agenda with Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Paul Ryan. Phil Roe is a big government Republican through and through that votes in favor of big government spending, on behalf of the special interests and his lobbyist friends on K Street just about every time. He represents them, not the voters of his district, contrary to his “people, not politics” political slogan. Roe is all about politics, the politics of serving the Washington DC political establishment, not the voters who sent him to Washington. It’s time for voters to embrace change and send someone else to Congress in Washington. If we don’t change who we elect to public office, we can’t expect anything to change.
Congressman Phil Roe was elected to congress in 2008 on a platform of change and economic populism. Not only has he not lived up to expectations, he has failed on every basic level when it comes to helping ordinary Americans. He voted for the Trans-pacific partnership. It is such an awful proposal that Elizabeth Warren, senator from Massachusetts, refused to support the legislation. She stated that we already have trade agreements with over 30 of the countries involved, and went on to say that the bill was written for the special interests who formed the committees who helped shape the legislation. The Global Development and Environment Institute did a study that found the legislation would cause the United States to lose 448,000 jobs. Phil Roe supported this legislation in spite of this finding. He voted to kill jobs and hurt our workers. In doing this, he voted against America’s best interests.
He also voted for $940 billion dollars in spending on a farm bill that would have established new farm subsidies and programs. The legislation would have granted funds to farmers who failed to sell all their product. The government would buy up all the excess product and artificially raise the prices of milk. Families continue to struggle, but Phil Roe, being as out of touch as he is still doesn’t see the wisdom in not subsidizing an industry that should be more than market viable. We use milk every single day in a variety of goods, and many of us cannot afford these price increases because they are crippling.
Phil Roe also voted to raise the debt limit, which caused the debt to skyrocket another $2.4 trillion dollars, and also voted against an amendment that required the government to reduce spending by just over seven percent down to 2008 spending levels. In the past, Roe has also supported continuing resolutions that do not balance, and are not a budget. He voted for the Ryan-Murray budget deal, which blew the deficit even more. Phil Roe never met a big-government spending bill he didn’t love.
In typical Roe fashion, he also voted for legislation that funded the government fully without repealing Obamacare. Known as “Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act,” it didn’t restore americans’ freedom, because it still funded the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare. Congressman Roe’s cadillac healthcare plan isn’t impacted Obamacare, so maybe that’s why he’s chosen to give lip service to the voters in his district, and not deliver actual results when the rubber meets the road. Voters are having their premiums increase by large amounts, and the ones who qualify for the subsidies are still on the hook for deductibles that can reach or exceed $5,000. If voters in the district can’t afford the premiums, how can they afford the deductibles? Roe defies common sense again.
It’s time we retire Phil Roe. He may have had good intentions at the time of his original congressional run, but he has clearly sided with the special interests on a whole host of issues. From his support of Obamatrade, which will ultimately kill hundreds of thousands of jobs, his support of the bloated farm bill that benefits the wealthy millionaire farmers while leaving the hard working farmers out in the cold, and finally his disastrous vote to fully fund Obamacare which continues to undermine families well-being to this very day, he’s been nothing more than a big government Republican looking to enrich those who have power in Washington DC. He’s Paul Ryan’s congressman, not ours.
Phil Roe Supports Bill That Enables Medicare Fraud
Waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicare is rampant, quite regularly hospitals and healthcare providers routinely overcharge the largest federal healthcare program for services provided for patients. The Recovery Audit Contracts (RAC) program has proven to be extremely effective in identifying and rooting out Medicare fraud, but that doesn’t sit well with the hospital industry, that sees the aggressive rooting out of fraud as cutting into their profit margins. As special interest groups do, they turn bought-and-paid-for politicians in Washington D.C. to give them what they want. In this instance, the American Hospital Association, and other representatives of the major corporate hospital groups, want the RAC program gutted.
Politicians like Reps. Sam Graves (R-MO) and Phil Roe (R-TN), along with more than 100 others members of the House and the Senate, are there to dutifully serve the hospital interests, in gutting the RAC program, against the interest of their constituents back home in their districts. Rep. Graves has sponsored, and Rep. Roe and others co-sponsored, the “Medicare Audit Improvement Act,” which is H.R. 2156 in it’s 2015 form, and H.R. 1250 in its 2013 form. Simply put, this bill would gut the RAC program by severely limiting what percentage of billing could be reviewed by RACs, and placing other limits and restrictions on the program. In short, the bill would enable billions in Medicare fraud, and putting more money into hospitals over-charging Medicare for services provided.
By reviewing just a small fraction of Medicare billing, the RAC program had rooted out $8.9 billion in fraud in just one year, and could easily find an estimated $50 billion Medicare fraud if the program was expanded. Not only did Phil Roe not stand up for taxpayers, and his own constituents by advocating the full expansion of the RAC program, he has stood for shutting it down by sponsoring H.R. 1250 in 2013, the earlier version of the bill, sponsored by Rep. Graves, that would all but eliminate the RAC program.
The American Hospital Association (AHA) has spent $33.8 million in the last couple years in lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill against the RAC program. Additionally, the AHA and other groups representing hospital owning corporations have donated more than $4.1 million to politicians, in an effort to buy their votes for legislation like the Medicare fraud-enabling so-called Medicare Audit Improvement Act. The corrupt politicians receiving this money are the likes of Sam Graves and Phil Roe, who support the legislation to gut the RAC program that is so effective at countering Medicare fraud.
The identifying of who supports this legislation says as much about the cronyism and corruption involved as does those who oppose it. Grass-roots taxpayer advocacy groups like the National Taxpayer Union and Citizens Against Government Waste strongly oppose Rep. Graves’ bill because it’s very much in the interests of taxpayers to strengthen the Medicare program and save taxpayer dollars by rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse. Both organizations have urged Congress to defeat Rep. Graves’ bill. The RAC program could save taxpayers anywhere from $50 to $90 billion in Medicare fraud if fully implemented.
Cong. Phil Roe runs for office on the slogan, “people, not politics.” But his support for legislation gutting the RAC program is all about corrupt politics, and certainly not the interests of his constituents, the people that represents, whose primary interest in this issue saving taxpayer money on Medicare rather than lining the pockets of those who profit from owning huge hospital empires. Rep. Roe sides with his cronies in the healthcare industry that own hospitals, in direct conflicts with the interests of the people of his district. That isn’t doing his job in representing the people, that is serving cronyism and corruption.
It’s no coincidence, given how well Rep. Roe represents hospital interests, that the healthcare industry, by industries, ranks first among industries that donate large sums of money to his campaign fund. Between 2013-2014, they donated money than $85,000 to Phil Roe’s campaigns for reelection. Apparently it’s money well spent for needed favors, given that he over-rides the interests of the taxpayers in rooting out Medicare fraud by co-sponsoring the bill to gut the RAC program.
Politicians like Sam Graves and Phil Roe are best that special interest group money can buy. But the voters in their district should retire them and elect someone to represent them, and not the corrupt special interests, in Washington D.C. Voters need to change who they send to Congress, otherwise we can’t expect anything to change. Government in the nation’s Capitol is broken, and we can only fix it by ending the careers of the corrupt bought-and-paid-for politicians like Graves and Roe.
Congressman Phil Roe, who represents Tennessee’s 1st congressional district, one of the most conservative districts in the country, has been consistently voting wrong on economic issues and voting conservative on social issues as a means to convince you and I that he is one of us. Phil Roe is not a conservative, he is is a charlatan.
Congressman Phil Roe voted to raise the debt ceiling, even though our Congress has been negligent in passing a budget for the past seven years. While keeping our country financially solvent isn’t a major priority for Roe, ensuring that we preserve the confederate flag is. Recently, Roe voted against banning the confederate flag at all Department of Veterans Affairs cemeteries in the United States, saying in part:
“The VA’s current policy, which allows the Confederate flag to be displayed on Memorial Day and Confederate Memorial Day, is appropriate for many families whose ancestors fought and died under the flag. I hope this amendment will be removed before the final version of this bill is considered.”
Someone forgot to give our congressman his history lesson: While much of Tennessee was pro-confederacy, the state was the last state to join the confederacy due to a large percentage of people who favored the Union. East Tennessee, the area he represents was against the confederacy and against slavery. The congressman also neglected to mention is his remarks that the policy would have absolutely zero impact on former confederate soldiers families living today, as there is no soldiers currently interred in the Tennessee National Cemetery. The director of the Mountain Home National Cemetery said in a piece written by the Johnson City Press:
“We have no Confederate flags flying on any flagpoles, and we do not have any confederates interred here,” Walker said. “We also have no Confederate headstones. Remember, we opened in 1903, and the confederates around here are buried at Oak Hill Cemetery.”
Here, Phil Roe gets embarrassed by the media for voting for a bill that has zero benefit on any of his constituents, he casts votes like this to distract voters from decisions on economics and foreign policy like the Syrian Train and Equip Fund. He’s voted for big government spending bills, such as HB 2685, in 2015 funded the military, which according to votesmart.org gave $600 million dollars to the Syria Train and Equip Fund and also appropriated $715 million dollars to the Iraq Train and Equip Fund. In the case of the Syrian effort, the program was a massive failure. Syrian rebels who were trained reportedly wanted to go back home, felt there weren’t enough members being trained in Jordan and Turkey where they were stationed for training before being transferred back to Syria. Another large reason the plan failed was because many Syrian fighters were focused primarily on fighting the Syrian dictator, Assad. There were also concerns about the possibility that some of these fighters could surrender their weaponry to ISIS in the face of death, and in so doing have the American people supply the Islamic State with weaponry.
Phil Roe’s bad judgment shines through as he continues to vote for un-conservative legislation that undermines our national security. Phil Roe seems to have even bigger fish to fry than our national security, as he seeks to rename the Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic in Sevierville, Tennessee the Dannie A. Carr Veterans Outpatient Clinic. While Dannie A. Carr fought bravely for his country in the Vietnam war, I find Phil Roe using him to hide from his political misdeeds patently offensive. Phil Roe can’t get our spending under control, nor stop our government from arming ISIS, so he spends his time scoring political points. He doesn’t care about Dannie Carr, he’s just using his blood for political gain here at home.
Its time to retire Phil Roe. He’s been not only ineffective but he has cast votes that have got us involved in foreign conflicts that we should not be involved in, and in the process taken advantage of soldiers blood for political gain. He hasn’t done anything to effectively move us toward a balanced budget, nor taking steps to protect us from ISIS. We can all hope a new congressman or congresswoman will be able to offer substantive solutions going forward. Government in Washington D.C. is broken, and if we don’t change who we send to Washington, we can’t expect anything to change.