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Health Care Reform

Floor Speech

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Location: Washington, DC

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Thank you, Dr. Gingrey. I put up this slide here. People who have gone to school, as kids, in their basic civics class see the little cartoon with a bill. This is the bill. They have a little song that goes along with that cartoon that is kind of a catchy song. But under the Constitution, a bill to become law has to be voted upon. That's what article 1, section 7, paragraph 2 says. In fact, I think it's worth having a little civics lesson here.

Article 1, section 7, which lays out all the parameters for Congress in the U.S. Constitution, article 1, section 7, the second paragraph, it says: Every bill--in fact, I encourage people to get the Constitution and read it. Because it wasn't written by lawyers. It's understandable. This contains the Constitution as well as the Declaration of Independence and every single amendment to the Constitution in this little booklet. It's not a thousand pages, it's not a hundred pages, it's not 2,700 pages that this abomination of ObamaCare is all about.

Article 1, section 7, second paragraph: Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate shall, before it becomes law, be presented to the President of the United States. If he approves it, he shall sign it. But if not, he shall return it with his objections to that House in which it shall have originated.

Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. Would the gentleman yield for just a second?

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Yes, sir. Absolutely.

Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman yielding, because I'm following along with him and he's quoting the Constitution accurately. The gentleman, I think, said--of course he did--if he approve, he shall sign it. It's not: if he deem, he shall sign.

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Not if he deems it.

Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I think it's important we point that out. Approve, not deem. I yield back.

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Let's go further and see if the House can deem it. Deem and pass. Western movie. The only outlaws in this particular movie are those who want to take over the health care system in this country. They're going to ambush small business.

But let's go on. Have a little civics lesson: He shall return it to the House where it originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal and proceed to reconsider it. This is how we overturn a veto: And if, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of that House agree to pass the bill, it should be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of that House, it shall become law. That's how a bill becomes law. That's how this guy becomes law. Both Houses pass the bill. Not deem it, but pass it.

Let's go on. It says: But in all such cases--and this is extremely important that the American people understand this, Mr. Speaker--But in all such cases, the votes of both Houses shall be determined by the yeas and nays. Let me repeat that: The votes of both Houses shall be--shall be--not may be, not deemed--but shall be determined by the yeas and the nays. And the names of the persons--the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the President within 10 days--and it goes on talking about--well, let's finish that paragraph.

If any bill shall not be returned by the President within 10 days, Sundays excepted, after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be law, in like

manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not become law. Period.

That's the only way a bill can become law. That's the only way that the kids see that cartoon about: I am a bill, I am a bill. I'm not going to sing it. I wish I could sing it.

Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. If the gentleman will yield back. Mr. Speaker, I'm going to ask the gentleman to yield his time back to me because the Lord knows we don't want to hear him sing. He's done a great job of reading the Constitution.

We're pleased to be joined, Mr. Speaker, by another of our colleagues, the gentleman from Iowa. I'm of course speaking of my mom's favorite Member of the body. I hope Mom's watching, Mr. Speaker. Mom is 92 years young, lives in Aiken, South, Carolina, in our good friend Gresham Barrett's district, or possibly Joe Wilson's, but my mom watches intently to what is going on up here, and she's a big fan of the gentleman from Iowa, Representative King. We're going to get to him in just a minute. Before I yield time to Representative King, I want to yield back to my friend from Louisiana.

Mr. Speaker, I want to commend my friend from Louisiana, Dr. Fleming, for being courageous in the first hour of speaking out against something that may purportedly--at least one of the Members of the other body who represents the State of Louisiana, who arranged for the Louisiana Purchase. Representative Fleming, Mr. Speaker, is mighty courageous to stand up here--he's from Louisiana as well--to say, That's not right. That's not right. That's not playing fair. That's giving one State an unfair advantage. It's not a level playing field.

I yield back to my friend from Louisiana.

Mr. FLEMING. I thank the gentleman, and once again the Chamber this evening is filled with gentlemen that I admire and I'm learning from here in my first term in Congress. I certainly thank each one of you for your leadership.

I just want to hit one thing before we get back to the topic of the Constitution, which is so important, and the process. I listened some to the hour before last, the women. There was a women's leadership hour on the other side of the aisle. Attractive women, nice ladies. We see them every day. We work with them. We happen to have a different worldview. And much of what they talked about was the human element, how this affects human beings. How this affects folks. Individual situations where someone loses their insurance and they run into problems and so forth.

And I want to get back to that just for a moment. And here's why. We, the three physicians that are here, and our friend, Mr. King, we've all seen situations--health care problems, situations where people develop cancer, heart disease, what have you. And we want the best. We want health care reform. In fact, I campaigned on health care reform, but of course I had no idea that health care reform could in any way be a takeover of the health care system, but simply using a scalpel to fix the problems.

But let me talk about, again, the human issue, and that is, let me remind my friends that coverage does not mean access. Coverage does not mean access to care. And I'll give you an extreme example. Look at Cuba today. In Cuba, 100 percent coverage. Care is free. The problem is you can't get care. They have one colonoscope for the whole country. Yeah, antibiotics are free. If you get pneumonia, you're still not getting any antibiotics. The same is true in North Korea. The same is true with the Soviet Union. Socialized, centralized economies do not work. They create spot shortages and sometimes extreme shortages.

So let's look at Western European countries and Canada. What do we see there? Again, government-run health care. We talked in the previous hour about the fact that there's two ways to control cost: either do it by investing the patient and the doctor into it or have the government sort of control it. But the only way the government can actually save money is to create long lines and rationing.

So if you look at Canada, we had both doctors and patients come and testify before us several months ago. I think some of the Members here were there. And what we heard was really, I think, spine-tingling. We heard the situation of a young mother who developed a spinal condition which left her wearing adult diapers. And there was a permanent treatment for her problem, a surgical treatment. Unfortunately, she had to wait years to get it. When she asked them, Why can't I have this surgery? I'm a young mother, I have a husband, and yet I have to wear diapers because I'm fully incontinent. The answer to her by her doctor was, You haven't suffered enough. You haven't suffered enough.

Yes, health care is free in Canada, but you have to wait as much as 2 1/2 years to get an MRI scan, and then you have to wait in line to get whatever it is. And it's not unusual for doctors in Canada to say, Yes, you have cancer, Mrs. Smith. We'll watch it. You will not hear a doctor in the United States tell you, You have cancer, and we'll watch it. The doctor may say it's untreatable, but he's not going to watch it if he thinks that there's any chance at all that there's either a cure or at least palliative care.

Then finally we look at--let's go up a couple thousand feet and look overall. Two of the most important cancers in this country--prostate cancer and breast cancer. One in six women get breast cancer, and something like 60 percent of men over age 90 get prostate cancer. And look at the death rates. They're not comparable. The survival rates in the United States of America are far above those in Canada and the U.K. for two reasons. Number one, in the case of breast cancer, the government says it cannot afford mammograms, which are saving lives in the United States, and they cannot afford the more expensive and innovative chemotherapeutic drugs which are saving lives.

So I just wanted to bring this down to the human element because we're talking about process, as we should, and we're talking about the economics, as we should, and we know they don't work. But I hear what these ladies are saying, that there is suffering out there. But again, bankrupting our health care system is not going to save lives or to free people from pain.

Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. Dr. Fleming, would you yield for just a moment? If the gentleman would yield back to me, and I will yield just for a moment to Dr. Broun, and then I will yield to Representative King.

But I yield just a moment to the gentleman from Athens, Dr. Broun.

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Thank you.

I just wanted to bring up, after Dr. Fleming was talking, I think it was one of the other physicians from Louisiana that we were talking to today. In fact, the three us were there when he was talking. He is a gastroenterologist from Baton Rouge. But anyway, Dr. Cassidy was talking about a patient being in Great Britain. Now, our President has held up Great Britain and their health care system as being where we need to go today. Y'all correct me if I'm wrong on this story.

Dr. Cassidy spoke so quickly. I don't hear that quick, but he was saying that a lady that he was associated with went into the hospital in England and was having a bleed in her esophagus, right at the junction of the esophagus and stomach, and people can bleed to death very quickly with that kind of bleed. But the patient was told that the doctor was out at tea and she would have to wait until the tea was finished, because the doctors' union would not allow them to come and see this lady who's bleeding to death.

Now, this may sound--we're giggling and laughing about it, but it's really serious business, because that's where we're headed as a Nation, and people won't get the care. And I just wanted to add that on to what Dr. Fleming was saying. What he was saying earlier is that people, though they may have free government health insurance, they're not going to have access to care. People are going to be denied care, and we're going to have a government panel here in Washington, D.C., that's going to tell people whether they can go into the hospital or not.

I already fight that for my patients. I have to talk to Medicare about my patients to see if they meet criteria. We all do. But it's going to get much, much worse, and people are going to be denied medicines, lifesaving medicines, lifesaving treatments, and it's going to be disastrous for the quality of care that we have in this Nation.

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Thank you, Dr. Gingrey. I was hopeful that Mrs. Gingrey had a second favorite congressman second to my good friend from Georgia, Dr. Gingrey.

Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. If the gentleman will yield back, Madam Speaker, no pandering tonight, please. I will yield back to the gentleman if he promises not to pander.

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. I told Ms. Gingrey and all the people living over in South Carolina, I don't pay any attention to the rivers. The Savannah River divides where she lives from my district, and I'll be glad to represent her interests too.

But Mr. Thompson just brought up the issue of cost. The thing is, the American people get it. They really get it. They know that this toxic stew that Mr. King was talking about is going to increase the cost of their insurance premiums. Experts have said that a family can expect a $2,100 increase cost to their health insurance.

We hear from our colleagues on the Democratic side, they say it's going to lower the cost of premiums. They know better than that. To me, this is just showing their arrogance, showing their ignorance, and showing their incompetence. It's their arrogance because they seem to want to ignore the American people, and they show their arrogance because they know best what's best for Mrs. Gingrey or for all Americans, for the rural hospitals in Pennsylvania. And in my district in North Georgia, where just this week some of the board members from Habersham Hospital in Habersham County came to talk to me about the struggles. I talked to folks in Elberton, Georgia, about how the Elbert County hospital is fixing to close up if we don't do something. And Obamacare is going to close rural hospitals all over this country because they're going to be bled to death. They're bleeding to death today. We see hospitals closing up all over the country.

So we mentioned in the previous hour where, even when people are given free health care, as they're promised by our Democratic colleagues, that that insurance card is not going to be accepted by doctors because the doctors just cannot afford to see patients because Medicare and Medicaid won't pay them enough to be able to see them, and for the doctors to be able to pay their own salaries for their own employees.

They won't be able to see those free government patients. If they're seen today and struggling--I've talked to many of my medical colleagues in Georgia, and they want to continue to see Medicaid patients. They want to continue to see Medicare patients. But if ObamaCare passes, that free insurance card that is in people's pockets is going to be as worthless as a Confederate dollar after the War Between the States, the Great War of Yankee Aggression.

So the availability of health care is going to go down. And we are told by our colleagues that it's going to be better availability. And they're showing their ignorance. In my opinion, they're showing their ignorance of how disastrous this bill is going to be. And they're showing their incompetence because they're going against what the Constitution of the United States says. They're going against the rules of this House to try to pass a bill without anybody ever voting on it.

But the American people get it. They get it. They know that when Democrats vote for the rule, they're voting for the Senate bill that is going to be disastrous. They know that they are voting for a rule that is going to put in place, a reconciliation bill that we'll vote on secondarily, which is nothing but smoke and mirrors. And it's not going to fix all of these problems.

American people get it. The American people, Madam Speaker, need to call their Congressmen, their Democratic Congressmen because every single Republican is going to vote against this because we get it, too. We're fighting for the American people. We understand. We have listened to it. But our Democratic colleagues hopefully will open their ears and will hear the cries of the American people to save our great health care system.

Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. I concur with the gentleman. I think there is a certain amount of arrogance, a lot of arrogance, and maybe indeed a certain amount of ignorance. There's a certain amount of shrewdness, too.

I want to yield back to the gentleman from Iowa because as he was talking about Otto Von Bismark and the creation of that hammock and that sense of dependency and that toxic stew that I referred to as rainbow stew, I want to yield back to the gentleman because I think he was making some excellent points, and I want to let him continue.

I think we have maybe 15 more minutes or so, and I would like to yield back to the gentleman from Iowa

Mr. KING of Iowa. I thank the gentleman from Georgia, Mr. Gingrey. And in the interim here I thought I would take a look at the lyrics of ``Rainbow Stew,'' which I have here now. And parts of these lyrics echo to me pretty well. And it has--the message is that we will all be drinking free bubble-ubb and eating that rainbow stew. That is when we reach this utopia is the tone of Merle Haggard's country western song from years ago.

I'll take us down to this part. The President has promised the American people a whole string of things. He's promised that he won't sign a bill that costs over $900 billion. He's promised that the negotiations--eight times on national television he said negotiations will take place on C-SPAN. There won't be backroom deals. This will be all out in the open, and it's going to lower the cost of the health care. We know it goes the opposite, the whole string of things, that there isn't even a pretense that he is going to keep his word on.

And here's Merle Haggard's part of the song ``Rainbow Stew.'' It says: ``When a President goes through the White House door, an' does what he says he'll do, we'll all be drinkin' free bubble-ubb, eatin' that rainbow stew.'' They'd like us to eat the toxic stew, and the American people won't have any part of it.

What's going on here in this Congress is a unique thing. What the gentlemen in the Doctors Caucus talked about in the previous hour was about the idea of the Slaughter House rule. The idea that a bill would come to the House--not the floor of the House. It would go up there in the hole in the wall in the third floor in the Rules Committee, that tiny little room that hardly ever has any press in it, and only one time in the history of this country that I know of has there even been a television camera in there. And they make their deal up above.

It will be what the Speaker writes in her office by conferring with the people that she decides to confer with. She will give her directive to the Chair of the Rules Committee who will carry out that directive. And what they're threatening to do and what they will, I think, attempt to do is write a self-enacting rule that deems that the Senate bill has passed the House even though it would never be seen nor debated or voted on the floor of the House, just be the Rules Committee that will deem that. Send the rule down here and then Democrats can vote for the rule that doesn't necessarily mean they're for the Senate bill.

Then, whatever they do with their reconciliation, write another bill, which is apparently put together and may be out, this reconciliation bill that is what they call the House fixes, that is all the deals that have to be made to satisfy the Democrats in the House to get enough of them necessary to get enough votes for passage. That is 216.

So they'll write a bill, what they will call fixes, and they think they'll pass it off the House and pass it off to the Senate where the Senate probably will take it up. But it would be impossible for the Senate to put all of the fixes in that the House wants. And they can't do this unless the Senate bill has gone to the President's desk, received his signature, and it becomes law.

So for the first time in American history--we will see if this happens, and I think they'll surely try it--we will see a bill that today cannot pass the Senate, that cannot be accepted by the United States Senate, one that can't be passed on the floor of the House, just deemed passed by a rule that would go to the President for the President's signature and become the law of the land.

That is a breathtaking thing to think that this great deliberative body, this constitutional Republic that we are could be so reduced that we wouldn't even have enough will to put a bill on the floor to vote it up or down so there is a recorded vote and the constituents and the voters in America could hold the people accountable that decided to come in here and take away our liberty.

If they're going to take our liberty, they ought to do it with the lights on, and they ought to do it with a recorded vote, not with a Slaughter House rule that deems that a bill passed--a bill that can't pass the floor of the House; a bill that would not be accepted by the United States Senate--could still become the law of the land under the Slaughter House rule.

I'll yield to the gentleman.

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. I just have a question of the gentleman.

If the Slaughter House rule is put in place, doesn't that mean that the President gets everything that he wants without the fixes because the Senate bill will be passed into law?

And I yield to the gentleman to answer the question.

Mr. KING of Iowa. Well, depending on what the

President wants. We can't hardly go by what he says. So I think he is closer to the Senate than he is to the House because he served in the Senate. But I think the answer is probably, yes, but we have to qualify it. Yes, depending.

Here's what I think. I think the President will sign any bill that says National Health Care Act in it. I don't think the substance of it matters. I don't think if it costs more than $900 billion to them it matters. I don't think if he said that it's not going to fund abortion--and it does--he will sign it anyway. He says it doesn't fund illegals--and it does: 6.1 million according to the Congressional Budget Office. 6.1 million illegals would have access to American taxpayers' dollars' benefits under the Senate version of the bill, and the President says it doesn't have anything to benefit illegals.

And the Speaker pointed her finger at our leader, JOHN BOEHNER, on February 25 and said, This bill doesn't fund abortion, and we know it does.

So if people can't be held accountable to their word, and if the language, the plain language in the bill says one thing and people's word says another thing, I don't know what their intentions are or where they'd say ``no.'' I think he's salivating to sign a bill.

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Will the gentleman yield?

Mr. KING of Iowa. Yes, I will.

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. I agree with you, but he has also said that he wants everybody in this country to be under one pool, a government total control of health care where the Federal Government is the insurance agent for everybody in this country, single-payer system where the government is the insurance system for every person in this country.

And the point I was making is if the Senate bill is passed into law, won't he have accomplished that purpose? And my contention is absolutely he will have what he wants. They'll put in place the mechanism for the Federal Government to take over the health care system to socialize medicine in this country.

The Socialist Party in the 1930s said the fastest way to take away our liberty and go from a free market economy to become a socialist nation for us to lose our freedom is for the government to take over the health care system.

And so the President will have what he wants when that bill is deemed passed by the Slaughter rule or the Slaughter House rule.

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