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Public Statements

Health Care Reform

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Thank you.

I am asked frequently by my constituents, Dr. Broun, what does ObamaCare mean for me? And what I explain to my constituents that ask that is that, number one, if they have private health insurance today they can't keep it because it's going to change. In fact, I will respectfully disagree with my learned colleague from Tennessee really on the semantics of what Dr. Roe was saying when he said this bill was designed to fail.

Well, actually, it's designed to fail for what it was promoted to be, and that's to provide free health care for people all over this country. Well, some people are going to get free health care, but the reality is it was designed so that we wouldn't stay in this current system. So it, according to the designers, it's going to be successful, because it's going to push everybody out of private insurance onto one single government policy.

So it is designed to be successful in what this President and what the leadership here in Congress wanted it to do, and that's to go to what President Obama said during his dog-and-pony show at the Blair House just a few weeks ago. He said he wanted everybody in this country under one pool, one insurance plan administered by the Federal Government, which means every American citizen is going to have socialized medicine, everybody.

That's what their plan is. That's what it was designed to do. So it won't fail in the respect of what they designed the plan to do, because it's going to be very successful. If it stays in place, everybody in this country is going to be under a socialized medicine system.

The second thing we were told that it was going to lower the cost of health care. But American citizens need to know it's not going to lower the cost to anybody. In fact, private health insurance is going to go up.

We are told by our Democrat colleagues that the doctor-patient relationship is going to be maintained. But that's hogwash. A Federal bureaucrat, as Dr. Roe was just talking about, about preventive care but really for all care, there is going to be a bureaucrat in Washington, D.C., that's going to be making decisions for every single patient, for every single doctor in this country.

So the American citizens need to know that if you want to make health care decisions, and what I tell them, is if you want to make health care decisions with you and your doctor making those decisions, you are not going to be able to do that anymore, and there is going to be ration of care for everybody, whether you are currently under private insurance or whether you are under the government insurance program.

If you have that card, if you are given free insurance, even under this plan, given that free health care insurance card or if you are on Medicare or Medicaid, you may have the card in your pocket, but there aren't going to be any doctors that are going to accept it because they can't from a financial perspective.

Another thing the American people need to understand, that I keep telling my patients, is that, particularly in small rural communities, there won't be any hospitals and doctors there anymore because they can't afford to stay in business. They are just going to be some huge regional hospitals that eventually are going to be government hospitals like the VA.

Now, there are some good VA hospitals. We have the luxury of having a great VA health care center in Augusta, Georgia, the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, which actually has two hospitals there. And the veterans are very fortunate, blessed, to have Rebecca Wiley in the VA system there in Augusta. But even there, there is ration of care and there are a lot of problems.

It's going to get worse at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center for the veterans that are there, but it's going to get worse for everybody. So the quality of health care is going to go down for everybody in this country. The cost is going to go up.

One other thing I tell my constituents, when they ask, Dr. Broun, what's this going to mean for me? If they are small businesses I am going to tell them that they are going to cut jobs because they are going to have to do so because of the financial burden that the extra taxes is going to put on them.

That means that many millions, actually, of American citizens are going to lose their jobs because of this bill. They are going to lose their jobs, but strictly because of this bill.

Another thing is we are going to have cost controls,

or it's going to break this Nation financially, and it can cause an economic collapse to America.

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Well, thank you, Dr. Gingrey.

In fact, there is a John Deere plant in Columbia County, Georgia, just north of Augusta. That's a great plant. It hires hundreds of my constituents and citizens in the State of Georgia, and people are going to be put out of work from John Deere in my district. And then people can look at your chart there, I hope that the camera will focus upon it and look at it just for a moment or two, and just see the amount of money that these companies are going to lose. Well, how can they lose that and continue in business? Well, the only way they could do so is by cutting jobs.

The people who are going to be hurt most in this country are the poor people and senior citizens on limited incomes. The Medicare folks are going to be hurt because of loss of their doctors. The doctors are not going to be able to take their Medicare anymore. We already see doctors, primary care doctors like me who practice medicine are going to have to quit because they can't afford to continue to see Medicare or Medicaid patients anymore.

In fact, I talked to a lot of my medical colleagues in the 10th Congressional District in northeast Georgia, and they are quitting seeing patients on government insurance. Why? Because they absolutely cannot afford to do so anymore because their reimbursement rate, what they are paid is less than what it costs them to give those services.

I will give you one example out of my own practice. Medicaid, I used to be in an office. As the gentleman from Marietta knows, I did a full-time house-call medical practice. I still practice medicine today. I still see patients, still do house calls, did that full time before coming here. But when I was in the office as a primary care doctor, I saw patients from cradle to grave; and some of my most favorite patients were the pediatric patients.

We would give childhood immunizations. But Medicaid cut the reimbursement rate to us, in our office, below the level it cost us to buy the serum. And that didn't count the cost of the syringe or the nurse's time or the liability coverage and all the other things and my time, anything else. So we had to stop giving childhood immunizations in my office and had to send patients over to the health department.

And, actually, they could go to Kroger and get a flu shot cheaper than I could buy the flu shot serum and be reimbursed by Medicaid or Medicare at less than what the serum cost me just to buy it. I couldn't afford to do that. And that is the kind of thing that doctors all over the country are facing, this kind of a dilemma. They want to deliver those services, they want to take care of their patients, but they just cannot afford continuing to do so. And I think, coming back to the ``designed to fail,'' what I think that our colleagues on the other side of the aisle and the administration have put in place is something so that it's going to fail, and they can establish a socialized medicine program.

Before I yield back to Dr. Gingrey, I want to just say one more thing. Last August, I spent a few days up in Canada and I talked to patients just to find out about the Canadian health care system. I talked to one man who makes $50,000 a year. He told me that he spends 60 percent, 60 percent of his income in Canadian federal and provincial taxes primarily to pay for the health care system; 60 percent of $50,000. That doesn't give him much to live off of. And that's exactly where we're headed in this country. So particularly lower-income, middle class folks and low-income people are going to be hit the hardest. And then the senior citizens who are on a limited income are really going to be hit hard because of the cuts in Medicare.

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Certainly, Dr. Gingrey. I appreciate it.

Some of our colleagues keep saying we are just being sore losers. We have lost, that the bill is now law, and that we need to just move on. Well, that is what our colleagues who would very much like to see us have socialized medicine in America would like for us to do. But we cannot do that because this bill is going to be a killer. It is going to kill our economy. It is going to kill jobs. It is going to kill the quality of health care in this country. We are going to have rationing of care so that people who need services are not going to be able to get those services.

It is going it kill unborn babies because the taxpayers are going to be paying now for greater abortion services. We are going to have, because of this bill, a greater expansion of abortion services, and the taxpayers are going to pay for it. Even a lot of pro-choice people in this country believe it is just fundamentally wrong for taxpayers to pay for elective abortions. So it is going to be a killer bill.

But what we need to do, and we all heard during the time that many of the grass roots were here, they kept saying, ``Kill the bill.'' Well, we unfortunately weren't able to kill the bill, but what we can do is we can repeal it, and we can replace it with policy that makes sense for the American people.

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