RELATING TO THE HOUSE PROCEDURES CONTAINED IN SECTION 803 OF THE MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG, IMPROVEMENT, AND MODERNIZATION ACT OF 2003 -- (House of Representatives - July 24, 2008)
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Mr. BOEHNER. I thank my colleague from California for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, just as the Democrat leadership of this Congress is sticking its collective head in the sand when it comes to energy legislation, it is doing the same with the entitlement crisis that we face.
My colleagues, ignoring this crisis won't make it go away. But this is just what the measure before us will do, allow us to ignore this big problem for just a little while longer.
Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services warned that if Congress doesn't act, government health care spending will grow to over $2 trillion by 2017. Medicare alone will account for almost one-quarter of this total. We can't afford that, our children can't afford that, and most certainly our grandchildren can't afford it.
But today, the majority is saying, well, we are just going to wait for the next generation of lawmakers to deal with this problem instead of doing what we should do now. The majority is also saying something else. They are saying thank you to their trial lawyer allies. This is something that they have said quite often during the last 2 years, as we all know. By not addressing the Medicare funding crisis in a comprehensive way, we are dodging fundamental liability reform that the entire health care system needs so sorely. Who gains? Trial lawyers. Who loses? Patients, doctors and taxpayers.
The majority leader said several months ago that he believed Medicare reform would be one of the most important issues for the next Congress and the next administration. Well, with the bill before us, it is clear that the majority leader meant what he said. But I think it is regrettable. It is irresponsible, and it is unfair to our children and theirs, not to mention the seniors who rely on this program today. They are going to bear the consequences of our refusal to step up and do the right thing.
I urge my colleagues to defeat this. Let's have the courage to do what the American people sent us here to do: to solve this entitlement crisis in a fair and bipartisan way.
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