Stop Government Takeover Of Health Care
Mr. BARRETT of South Carolina. Mr. Speaker, tonight it seems like the popular target is health care, and I rise tonight, Mr. Speaker, to talk about my opposition to government takeover of health care. And there are a lot of reasons why we should all be against this bill, a lot of reasons why I should be against this bill, but the main reason I want to talk about is jobs.
Right now in my home State of South Carolina, Mr. Speaker, about 270,000 South Carolinians are out of work. We have a record unemployment rate of 12.6 percent. Families and small businesses are trying to figure out how to put food on the table and keep the lights lit. And you know what? Here in Washington all we are doing is making the matter worse. If this bill passes, thousands of mothers and fathers and hardworking South Carolinians will be without a job. Businesses will be saddled with new taxes, resulting in additional layoffs, cutbacks, and businesses closing.
In South Carolina, taxpayers will pick up the tab for sweetheart deals Democrats made behind the scenes to muscle this bill through Congress. Despite the Democrats' best efforts to keep the American people in the dark, though, by resorting to shady tactics and backroom deals, nobody is fooled in this country about what is going on here. This is a trillion-dollar boondoggle that will kill job creation and take over one-sixth of the Nation's economy. It will mean nearly $600 billion in tax increases, over $500 billion in Medicare cuts, and a massive expansion of the Federal Government.
In South Carolina, we know government mandates only stand in the way of economic growth and jobs. With this bill, Democrats have found another way to help stifle this country.
Mr. Speaker, let me say this. If this bill does pass, South Carolina won't stand for it. And I will tell you today that I will do everything within my power to defend the States' rights that are set forth by the 10th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. The truth is we can avoid the lawsuits and legal action that will result in further wasted taxpayer dollars.
There is a better way. Republicans have offered real solutions that lower the cost of health care and improve access while resulting in zero job loss, zero Medicare cuts, and zero tax increases. Let me say that one more time. Zero job loss, zero Medicare cuts, and zero tax increases.
Mr. Speaker, Americans deserve an honest debate and an up-or-down vote on this bill. That's why I have cosponsored legislation to do just that, but Democrats have continued to stand in the way of true and real reform. A government takeover of health care is wrong for South Carolina, it is wrong for this Nation, and, Mr. Speaker, it is wrong for freedom. I hope and I pray, Mr. Speaker, that come Sunday my colleagues and I will beat this bill, and I urge all of my colleagues to vote ``no.''