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Public Statements

The Cost And Dangers Of The Government Takeover Of Our Health Care System

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Speaker, today in the Energy and Commerce Committee we started having hearings on President Obama and Speaker Pelosi's bill, the proposal to create a government takeover of our health care system. I think the components of this bill and some of the things that have been talked about need to be discussed here on this House floor because the bill itself will actually lead to rationing of health care for Americans across this country. The bill will absolutely raise taxes on every American in this country and every small business in this country. In fact, there are over $580 billion in new taxes in this bill. This bill was just filed earlier this week. The Congressional Budget Office hasn't even been able to do a full assessment of it. There was a meeting held yesterday in the Energy and Commerce Committee with the CBO. Unfortunately the chairman decided that that meeting would be held in secret. He did not allow the media to come in. He didn't allow the public to have access through the Internet or through television to see what the head of the CBO had to say. You know, maybe if somebody supports this government takeover, I can see why they might want to try to hide the details from the public because the details that start to come out are showing the true cost to the American people and the true dangers of going into this government takeover of our health care system. I think the people ought to know what those details are. I think when you're talking about a bill this massive, a bill that is so enormous, probably one of the biggest transformations of government--and in an administration that has had many, many attempts to try to take over different aspects of our lives, this may be the biggest one.

We have a chart right here that we've put together which actually shows the organizational structure of this new government takeover. If government is allowed to take over the health care system based on the bill that President Obama and the Speaker and her top lieutenants in this House and in the Senate have filed, this is the structure of what government-run health care would look like.

There are a number of points that I think are important to go through. You hear President Obama talking a lot about, if you have the health care you like, you get to keep it. Now that sounds great. I agree with that. The problem is, the bill that President Obama and Speaker Pelosi and others filed takes away your health care. It allows a government czar--and unfortunately they've created so many czars. The government is running the insurance companies. The government is running banks right now. The government is running car companies. And the government is not doing a real good job of it. And now the government wants to run the health care system in this country. If you look at this organizational chart, you will see a whole lot of Federal agencies interfering in the relationship between a patient and their doctor.

Now these are the people that are saying that the government won't tell you when you can go see your doctor. Everywhere in this organizational chart and everywhere in their thousand-plus page bill they're giving this new health care czar the ability and the power to interfere between the relationship of a patient and their doctor. If you like the health care plan you have, there's actual language in this bill that allows this health care czar that's created, it gives this government bureaucrat in Washington the power to tell your company, if you like your health care, the government can now take away, literally disqualify your company's health care plan from being eligible and force you onto this government-run plan. They have taxes that cover all different aspects of life. They tax businesses, $583 billion in taxes on working people in this country. There's actually--and this was verified yesterday by the Congressional Budget Office--$29 billion in new taxes on uninsured people. Now the real irony of that is, the real reason that they're bringing this bill--over 300 million Americans participate in health care today, and there is a number of uninsured people. Some people say the number is 45 million. Others have narrowed it down, when you remove the illegal aliens, when you remove people that just choose not to get health care who are eligible, the real number of uninsured people has been honed down to about 7 million people, and that's a number we should go address. Health care needs to be reformed, and there are a lot of bipartisan approaches to reform that system. But you reform something that's broke. You don't blow up the whole system that's working.

In America we've got probably the best medical care in the world. People who have government-run systems, like Canada, like England, the citizens that have the means actually come to America to get care because our system is so good, even with the flaws. So let's go address those flaws. But you don't set up a system like this, some Byzantine system of bureaucrats and czars that are going to tell you which doctor you can see, to take over our health care system. Unfortunately we have got a debate started; and hopefully the public gets involved in this because when you look at the taxes, literally $29 billion of taxes on uninsured people when the bill was supposed to be designed to address the uninsured. When you look at small businesses and the impact on small businesses and middle-class families, in the bill they literally allow taxes on people making less than $50,000. This is a bill that needs important debate. Hopefully people will look at the details, and we can defeat it.


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