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Public Statements

Health Care

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC



To the Chair, the gentleman from Ohio referenced a stimulus bill, which, as we all know, did, in fact, protect AIG bonuses, and was signed into law.

What is also in the stimulus bill is a provision to set up the comparative effectiveness research advisory board--the positions of which have been filled, by the way.

Now, the point of the comparative effectiveness ideology is to have government determine through this board what is most cost-effective in terms of your health care treatment by a concept known as ``life years.'' Is the cost worth it to add X number of years to your life or to improve the quality? Many of us consider that inherently inhumane and not the proper function of a limited government. Yet that was approved in the stimulus bill.

So, like the health care bill which has followed it and that the public is having, as you say, shoved down its throat, I think that, as America continues to find out about the comparative effectiveness research council, they are going to find that equally hard to swallow.

I yield back.


Mr. MCCOTTER. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

It's certainly not funny, humorous, when we understand that, recently, we've just heard that the election of Senator Brown from Massachusetts was due to, in many ways, according to the administration, the public's lack of having adequate information about what was in the bill.

We have heard that this administration and this Congress have been too busy acting to do enough talking so that we can do enough understanding as the American people. It would seem to me that, if one wants to make the argument that the American people haven't had sufficient information regarding what's in the bill and why it's
in their best interest, the last place you would wish to hold your meetings regarding that bill would be behind closed doors, out of public sight.

It strikes me that--to use a medical term, actually, a criminal term--do not blame the victim. Do not claim the American people do not understand what's in this bill or that they have not had adequate information when it is you who are, in fact, keeping that information from them, especially because you realize that, when the American people have seen what's in this bill and what you intend to do to have government run their health care and to make some of their most intimate life decisions for them, they've rejected it.

I yield back to the gentleman.


Mr. McCOTTER. I thank the gentleman. This segues into another point on the chart, the sweetheart deals that were made with big pharmaceutical industries and others to try to get this bill passed. But the converse is the heartless deals that were also made to get this bill passed.

The gentleman has talked about the disparate treatment amongst the States, which helps to explain why the bill is being handled behind closed doors so the public cannot see what Mr. Milbank, thankfully, is able to write under the Constitution.

One of the two heartless deals is the taxpayer funding of abortion which is in the Senate bill. And at this point, I would like to thank our Democratic colleague Bart Stupak for his efforts here to ensure that the House bill carried his provision to prevent the taxpayer funding of abortion. It was a rare moment of bipartisanship and a very difficult issue. He has been a man of strong courage and conviction and held his ground, and hopefully we could still see that provision remain if something is passed.

We have also seen the heartless deal of, as has been mentioned, cutting a half trillion dollars from Medicare. That doesn't sound like a very good deal for the senior citizens.

And in the end, there is also a hidden deal that the American people don't, I think, quite realize the extent to which it is going to hurt them. The deal is this: within these bills is the concept, the quality and continuation of your life and the health care you require to perpetuate it and improve it is tied to the cost to the government.

I want to be clear on this. We discuss this in our Republican House policy pamphlet, ``We, the People,'' which you can see on line at

The fundamental tenets of the health care bill before us set forward a heartless deal whereby your life and health care will be determinate upon its cost to the government. And that is because the underlying theory is that government can control health care costs by controlling the supply of health care and your decisions. It is absolutely backwards.

A better deal for the American people would be to realize you have an inherent sanctity and dignity and liberty that allows you to pursue your health and wellness and happiness, absent its cost to the government, as long as you don't hurt other people; and to make sure that we go towards a patient-centered wellness that empowers individuals as consumers of health care to be able to make their own decisions, and allow the free market that is born of that to increase the supply of health care to reduce costs. A far better deal for the American people from their servant government.

I yield back.


Mr. MCCOTTER. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

On the point about the sweetheart deals and the disparate treatment amongst the States, we have to remember that in the haste to pass this bill and in the haste of the backroom dealing and the haste of trying to ``incentivize'' their own Democratic colleagues' votes in the Senate, you have to remember that the rule of law applies equally to all individuals. As a free Republic composed of 50 sovereign States, it is critical that all States be treated equally under the law, under the Constitution. In their haste to pass this bill, they are endangering one of the fundamental foundations of a constitutionally based free Republic. That is a very grave mistake to make, no matter how much you attempt to reform anything, especially when dealing with the body politic.

I yield back.


Mr. McCOTTER. I appreciate that from the gentleman.

I just want to be clear on this. As we put forward in the Republican House Policy pamphlet, We the People, which you can view at, the government doesn't spend what it makes. It spends what it takes. When the gentleman talked about how, if you started a business, you would have startup costs. You would not be able to go out to people and simply take their money and promise them a product later and talk about what a wonderful profit that you have. What we're seeing here is some of the worst of government accounting, where the government goes out and takes your money on the promise of something later and then it tells you that it isn't as expensive as it's going to be.

I yield back.


Mr. McCOTTER. I thank the gentleman for yielding. The sky-thigh, 40 percent surcharge on health plans, in an attempt to capture, ``Cadillac'' plans, which we from Detroit prefer to call Lexus plans. The government in the Senate passed a bill that would tax these plans. What they did was, they caught up a whole lot of working people who have collective bargaining agreements from employer-provided benefits. You can imagine that coming from a district like mine, an auto-based district of people who still make things for a living such as cars, this was a very unfair tax to them. It went against the express position of many people in the Democratic Party who, like myself--and I believe the gentleman from Ohio--oppose putting a tax on employer-provided health care benefits.

We've recently seen where the unions had to go to the White House to try to stop this unfair tax from affecting people that they represent. I, for one Republican, am glad that the administration has shown a willingness to back off this tax because I wish everybody would not have to pay this tax. I wish they would go back to the drawing board and get it right. But it goes back to the fact that in the rush to pass this, in a haste behind closed doors to do this, they actually hurt the very working people that so many of us on both sides of the aisle have promised should never have their employer-provided health care benefits taxed.

And if I may very quickly in one moment, I wish to answer your question about vending machines. It goes back to our earlier point. The government is tying your health to the cost to the government. They want to control what you eat because if you eat improperly, it costs them ``money.'' Now I will just remind people, if you don't want the government in your bedroom, you sure don't want them in your kitchen either.


Mr. MCCOTTER. I thank the gentleman. One of the fundamental concepts behind this great Nation is that all power is vested in the sovereign people. It is simply delegated to us, as their servants, to do the work of governance on their behalf. You cannot defy the people who sent you here. You cannot tell your employer who is giving a 2-year, 6-year or a 4-year contract that they don't know what they are talking about, that you know better than they do, and you will take their money to convince them of it over a period in time.

I think that what we have to remember here, the true Achilles' heel is not the American public's lack of understanding about this. It is the Congress' arrogant defiance of the wishes of the American people that have commonsense solutions to problems that affect their daily lives, especially in a very difficult time of economic recession, with high unemployment, such as in States like mine, Michigan.

When we think about this, it is a very fundamental proposition. Lincoln laid it out a long time ago. Whatever happened in Massachusetts and throughout this country, it's not anger. It's not just frustration. It's not vexation. It's the fact that the American people understand what's happening. They have the information, and they do not give their consent to this radical government-run health care bill that was passed by this House or by the Senate or is threatened to be passed again, because Lincoln was right: Why should there not be patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in this world? The answer remains no, and I would encourage my Democratic colleagues to heed their wisdom.

I yield back.

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