Mr. TURNER. Madam Speaker, it is irresponsible for Congress to continue debating an increasingly unpopular and costly health care bill at a time of record-breaking deficits and uncertainty about our economy. We should be focusing on reducing spending and creating jobs. In Tuesday's New York Times, columnist David Brooks editorialized that the majority's ``passion for coverage has swamped their ..... commitment to reducing the debt. The result is a bill that is fundamentally imbalanced.'' Brooks wrote that ``they've stuffed the legislation with gimmicks and dodges designed to get a good score from the Congressional Budget Office but that don't genuinely control runaway spending.'' He points out that the bill appears deficit-neutral because it immediately collects revenues but doesn't pay for benefits until 2014. It also doesn't include $300 billion in additional costs because it assumes Congress will cut Medicare reimbursements by 21 percent.
Unfortunately, this proposed government takeover of health care has blocked the path to reasonable reform. We can and must work together on a bipartisan basis to achieve real reform that will bring down costs and increase access for all Americans without increasing the national debt.