Affordable Health Care For America Act

Floor Speech

By:  Paul Ryan
Date: Nov. 7, 2009
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, I would like to place in the Record a statement commending the people at CBO for their long hours and hard work.

Mr. Speaker, I firmly believe that this is probably the most consequential vote each of us will take in our service here, whether you've been here for 40 years or for 1 year.

When you expose this bill's budget gimmicks, does it increase the debt and deficit? Yes. Will it take coverage away from seniors, raise premiums for families, and decrease health care innovation? Yes. Will it raise taxes on small businesses and workers and cost us nearly 5.5 million jobs when our unemployment rate is 10.2 percent? Yes. Does this bill mean the government will take over running our health care system? Yes.

But what is worse is this bill replaces the American idea with a European-style social welfare state. This bill, more than any other decision we are going to make in this body, will do more to put millions of Americans as dependents of a state rather than being dependent upon themselves.

This is not about health care policy. If it were, we could pass a bipartisan bill to fix what's broken in health care without breaking what's working in health care. This is about ideology.

My friends, the choice is not whether you're going to stick with your party leaders. The choice here is what side of history do you want to be on? Will you be on the side of history where you stick with the people and the principles that built this exceptional Nation? That is the choice we are going to make with this bill, and I encourage you to think it through.

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It is unusual for the House to be in session working on a Saturday. That has not been the case for the Congressional Budget Office's staff that has been working on health care legislation. For the past several months, CBO has worked non-stop to analyze health care legislation. This legislation is enormously complex and far-reaching and CBO is doing their best to fulfill their mission to provide objective non-partisan analysis to the Congress. That analysis is critically important to us and I want to acknowledge the hard work of Director Doug Elmendorf and the following CBO staff in that endeavor:

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Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, this is perhaps the worst bill I have seen come to the floor in my 11 years of serving in Congress, and what would make this bill worse is if we break with the long-standing law of preventing abortions from being funded with taxpayer dollars.

For those of us who support the protection of and the sanctity of life, the only vote, the right vote, the vote to keep a clean conscience is a ``yes'' vote for the Stupak amendment.

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