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Public Statements

Health Care

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


Health Care

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Mr. SCALISE. Would the gentleman yield?

Mr. AKIN. I do yield to my friend from Louisiana.

Mr. SCALISE. And I appreciate my friend from Missouri yielding.

Of course when President Obama brought that stimulus bill and he said that this would stave off the unemployment rate that was approaching 8 percent--of course now at 9.5, approaching 10 percent--added $800 billion to our national debt, a real offshoot of that stimulus bill since the President passed his stimulus bill, 2 million more Americans have lost their jobs. And so we see more people unemployed, in large part because of this big-government approach like the stimulus bill, then that cap-and-trade energy tax that they brought, and now we see this health care bill.

I'm on the Energy and Commerce Committee. We were supposed to have another meeting tonight to take up amendments to this proposal by President Obama and Speaker Pelosi to have a government takeover of health care--a devastating approach to really addressing the problems that we can address in a very specific way instead of this government takeover. But now they're short on votes, and they're definitely having problems getting the votes, which is, I think, in large part because Americans across the country have started to see some of the details of this bill, and they realize how bad of an approach it is.

Just the other day when they canceled the vote on the House floor that was supposed to occur this week, you saw the stock market actually take off. So American families out there who have retirement accounts and pension funds actually saw an increase, not because of the policies of this administration working, but because Americans finally saw that some of this Big Government approach, this government takeover of health care, actually is in trouble, and that's what really got the economy back going again. So I think you can see their approach is actually hurting the economy instead of helping the economy.

And so I yield back to my friend from Missouri.

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Mr. SCALISE. Back in Louisiana there's something called the ``rule of holes.'' And what the rule of holes says is if you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you do is you stop digging. And here they are. They brought this bill, the stimulus bill, $800 billion of debt for our children and grandchildren that's actually led to increased unemployment. Clearly their approach didn't work, as many of us predicted it wouldn't. You would think the first thing they would do is say, okay, yes, that was something that they did wrong. Maybe we should go look at some of these Republicans who put alternative ideas on the table and suggested and maybe we'll look at their ideas. And instead they talk about spending even more money. In fact, the Vice President just 2 weeks ago said that they need to keep spending even more money to keep from going bankrupt, as if anybody can make any sense out of that. But then they filed this bill to propose a government takeover of our health care system.

And I want to show you right here, this is a depiction of the actual organizational chart of their proposal.

Mr. AKIN. That actually looks like a structure that will----

Mr. SCALISE. If you look at this, I think--and, clearly, we have reforms that we need to make in our health care system. Commonsense ideas like allowing portability so if somebody leaves a job, they can take their health care with them, or removing the discrimination against preexisting conditions. I don't think it's fair that if somebody gets cancer that they can literally be discriminated against in their health plan. We addressed that in our proposals. Unfortunately, what they proposed is this new system where they have dozens of new bureaucracies.

Mr. AKIN. I hate to interrupt, but I've got this chart up here and you've got that chart up there, and the two charts aren't the same. Even though I don't like reading complicated charts, it's obvious to me there's a red box on your chart that isn't on my chart. This is my understanding of the Democrat proposal for health care, to take over 20 percent of the economy. And this is very much of a simplified chart of what is being proposed. When the government takes something over, they have got an awful lot of different things to connect. And yet your chart has got this big red box on it. I would like you to explain where that thing came from.

Mr. SCALISE. I think the gentleman from Missouri makes a very important point. We put this chart together based on their bill, the bill that President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and many of the other liberals who are running Congress put this bill together, proposed a government takeover of heath care. They create all these new dozens of bureaucracies.

I think the most important relationship in health care is that relationship between the patient and the doctor. And look at what their bill does to create dozens of new Federal bureaucratic agencies that come in between the doctor and the patient.

So when we put this chart together to actually show what their bill does, the Speaker censored this document, literally said we can't send this out to the public.

Now, I'm holding this up because I have the ability because we're here on the floor, but I, by the rule of the Speaker, can't even send this to my constituents back home. People want to know what their bill does, and they're trying to censor that information from being shown to the public. But the public is figuring it out anyway, and they see dozens of new bureaucrats. A health care czar that can ration care.

Mr. AKIN. Reclaiming my time, what you're saying goes to a little bit more even than the health care

debate. We are talking about the right to free speech. What you just said, as a Member of the U.S. Congress from the State of Louisiana, if you'd like to communicate to your constituents a flowchart of the bill that the Democrats proposed, they will not allow you to do that, and if you were to send that to them, they would make you pay for the thing personally. Is that what you're saying?

Mr. SCALISE. That's exactly what I'm saying. I represent about 650,000 people in Southeast Louisiana, people who are starting to look at the details of this bill, and they don't like what they see because what they see is government bureaucrats in Washington telling them which doctor they can see or even if they can get a medical procedure and the ability by this new health care czar that you can't even see because it's censored by the Speaker to ration care----

Mr. AKIN. Reclaiming my time, you're getting at the very heart of what I want to talk about today, and that is there's a reason to censor something, because you don't want somebody to know something. There is somebody who is not going to like this bill, and you just told us one of the groups.

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