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Public Statements

Health Care

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, D.C.

Mr. YARMUTH. Mr. Speaker, on the most important issue this Congress will consider, what was so egregious that dozens of my Republican colleagues paraded to the floor yesterday to make passionate speeches in opposition to the Affordable Health Care for America Act? I shall tell you. It was the fact that the word ``shall'' appeared 3,400 times in the bill.

Well, that is an interesting point, but it also reveals a certain amount of amnesia about law writing and civilization. After all, one of our most important and formative laws had the word ``shall'' in every sentence: You shall honor your father and mother. You shall recognize the Sabbath to keep it holy. You shall not covet. You shall not steal. You shall not murder. And most importantly probably for this debate in this House, You shall not bear false witness.

Mr. Speaker, if this is all the Republicans have, I say let's talk about font size or paper color. No, millions of Americans are suffering because of lack of health care. They cannot afford it. Eighteen thousand are dying a year. Almost a million are going bankrupt because of health care costs. We shall give America the health care reform they deserve.

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