Search Form
Now choose a category »

Public Statements

The Question Of Health Care

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Well, thank you, Mr. Akin. You have been a stalwart friend in this fight to try to stop the government overtaking of the health care system. I, as a medical doctor, have been fighting for my patients for their economic well-being for years. I just wanted to come tonight and bring up a few things.

The Wall Street Journal yesterday, there was an editorial written, coauthored by Scott Rasmussen, the famous pollster. The title of it is ``Why Obama Can't Move the Health Care Numbers.'' One of the lines in here right at the end is basically giving the bottom line. It says most voters believe the current plan will harm the economy--they are right about that--cost more than projected--absolutely--raise the cost of care--without any shadow of a doubt--and would lead to higher middle class taxes--and that is just undoubtedly a fact.

The American people get it. And one thing that the American people do get is that it is going to cost millions of Americans their jobs if this is put into place.

I thank you for bringing this forward tonight so we can talk about jobs and health care. I look forward to this discussion as we go along.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. The Federal Government already sticks its nose in the doctor-patient relationship in Medicare-Medicaid. The insurance company executives do in managed care. But in my medical practice for the last 5 years prior to being elected to Congress, I saw Medicare patients, Medicaid patients, managed care patients, but they just paid me at the time of service. If they couldn't pay me, that was all right too. I've given away hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of my services over my medical career.

We hear from Democrats, the President particularly, that the doctors are all in favor of this Obama care bill. I've got a letter here from the Medical Association of Georgia that was just sent to me and other members of the Georgia delegation that says, We oppose the Senate-passed health care bill. They

list a number of things that they see as problems with the bill. Among these include undermining the patient-physician relationship and empowering the Federal Government with even greater authority. It's unsustainable from a financial standpoint. The Federal Government will have unprecedented authority to change the Medicare program through these new boards without Congress or the courts or anybody having any oversight to that. It's devoid of proven medical liability reform.

They're concerned about many things that aren't in this bill, two of which are: it takes away the right to make a private contract between two individuals, particularly doctor and a patient or any provider and patient. Another one is, there's nothing to stop the sustainable growth rate formula that is killing physicians.

It goes back to what you were just saying a few minutes ago, Mr. Akin, where doctors are being underpaid. We have this SGR, sustainable growth rate formula, that needs to be thrown out. But we don't do anything about that. What that's going to do to the American public, and particularly Medicare patients need to understand, if this bill is passed, it's going to be exceedingly difficult for a senior to find a doctor who's going to accept their government insurance. It's already a problem, but it's going to be even much more of a problem and exceedingly difficult because the Federal Government is going to pay a lower rate, and doctors just can't afford to do that.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Absolutely. You're correct about that. In fact, we're at a tipping point where this country is either going to be totally socialistic--government controls everything in everybody's life from Washington, D.C. And that's what this health care bill is designed and geared to do. Or, we are going to walk away from that and start fighting for freedom and cutting down the size of the Federal Government and let people live their own lives without all the government intrusion. That's exactly where we are.

I wanted to bring up another issue to throw this out then: That people should understand that this bill that we are supposedly going to vote upon--I guess we will, the Senate bill, H.R. 3590--the CBO, the Congressional Budget Office, says that it will increase premiums for everybody who's buying private insurance today by $2,100 per family. So not only is it going to destroy the Federal budget, it's going to destroy the State's budget, but it's going to destroy everybody's family budget.

It's going to be horrendously expensive, and it's also going to destroy jobs. There are going to be over 5 million people that are going to lose their jobs if this bill ever becomes law.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Akin, you made a very astute observation just a moment ago, and our good friend, G.T. Thompson, was just talking about something that I want to come back to, back to your comment that government is the problem.

Practicing medicine, I've seen the cost of health care go up for everybody in this country because of government regulations. And let me just tell you about a couple of things; one is HIPAA that G.T. was just talking about. HIPAA was totally unneeded, totally unwarranted. It's a law passed by Congress. It's a regulatory burden that's been placed on the health care system. It has cost billions of dollars and has not paid for the first aspirin to treat the headaches it has created.

Another bill that was passed, Henry Waxman, Ted Kennedy, Pete Stark, and others, passed a bill a couple of years ago called CLIA, the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act. I was practicing medicine in a small, rural community down in southwest Georgia. Prior to HIPAA, I had a fully automated lab in my office, quality controlled so that I knew that the results I got out of my lab were absolutely correct so I could give good, quality care to my patients. Congress passed CLIA, which shut my lab and every doctor's lab down in this country.

Prior to CLIA, if a patient came in to see me with a red sore throat, running a fever, coughing, runny nose, headache, I would do a CBC, a complete blood count, to see if they had a bacterial infection which needs antibiotics to treat it or a viral infection, which does not need antibiotics. They don't need to spend the money, they don't to be exposed to the antibiotics. I could do that test in 5 minutes. It cost 12 bucks. That's what I charged, $12. HIPAA shut me down so I couldn't do that anymore, and I had to send patients over to the hospital to get the same test or else I just had to arbitrarily give them antibiotics so that they had the huge cost of going to buy those antibiotics. But if they went to the hospital, it took two to three hours and cost $75. For one test, it went from one $12, 5 minutes to $75, two to three hours for one test, for one regulatory burden. Now, you can multiply that over the whole course of the health care system in the United States and you will see that it drove up, markedly, the cost of everybody's insurance in this country.

Government is the problem. And getting the regulatory burden off of the health care system, getting the tax burden off of small businesses, we can literally lower the cost of health care and make it affordable for those that don't have the ability to buy it today. So government is the problem, and adding more government to it is going to drive the cost up.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT


Source:
Skip to top
Back to top