Health-care fix worth effort, Tipton says

If the new House Republican leadership succeeds in repealing the year-old health care law, it could take a long time tussling and tugging over how to replace it, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., said.

That process, though, will be conducted in a spirit of “free and open debate” in committees and on the House floor, Tipton said last week, shortly after he was sworn in to represent Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District.

Tipton campaigned on the idea of private-sector solutions to health care woes and said he hoped to look at how much bureaucracy is involved in the current law.

“I’ve heard there were 24 to 28 new agencies” that will have to be set up to administer the law, Tipton said.

For the amount of the money estimated to implement the law, the new House can look at ways to tackle issues “without establishing a gargantuan bureaucracy,” he said.

If the House under new leadership agrees to increase the national debt ceiling, it won’t necessarily do so to win concessions from the president and Democrats on health care, Tipton said. The $13 trillion national debt that he discussed during the campaign has since grown to $14.3 trillion, he said, and Republican support for increasing the debt ceiling “must be accompanied by verifiable, actual reductions” in spending.

“We’re going to have to see definite reductions in spending,” Tipton said.

One of those places will be in Congress, where all members’ budgets are being cut by 5 percent, he said.

Calendars remain to be set for the Natural Resources, Agriculture and Small Business committees to which Tipton was appointed, but he said he hopes to tackle instances of federal regulatory excess, in particular involving the Environmental Protection Agency.

After his victory in November, Tipton toured the 29-county district, meeting with city and county officials as well as businesspeople.

“At every meeting, save one, the EPA was brought up” as overreaching and intrusive, Tipton said.

The only meeting in which the EPA didn’t come up was in Pitkin County, he said.

Tipton said he will be able to oversee actions by the EPA from the Natural Resources Committee, where he also hopes to learn more about the Interior Department’s initiative to manage as wilderness so-called “wild lands” designated by the department.

The initiative seems to circumvent the process by which wilderness lands are to be designated by Congress, Tipton said. Tipton, a lifelong resident of Cortez, has a new part-time residence in Washington, D.C.

“We did find a little place, literally, about 800 square feet, a block from the Capitol,” he said. “We were able to get there just as the landlady was putting out the for-rent sign.”


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