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Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of repealing this simply job-destroying health care bill.
What we want to do is replace it with a piece of legislation that addresses three main tenets: one that will grow our economy, one that will bring down costs, and one that is basically constitutional.
In the area of jobs, you know, I remember when Minority Leader Pelosi, then Speaker Pelosi at the time, said this bill would create 4 million jobs and 400,000 of them immediately. All the same, the CBO was saying, ``It is likely to reduce employment.''
So instead of encouraging America's leading job creators, this takeover of health care hurts small businesses with more taxes, more mandates, and higher health care costs on those small businesses. We need to do this and work together in a bipartisan manner in a way that will help our small businesses.
In the area of cost, additionally, this health care bill is deficient in that it fails to address bringing down costs. As companies have begun to digest this health care bill, costs have only risen. CBO has found that this law will actually increase health care premiums by as much as 10 to 13 percent.
Now, one of the areas that I looked at--and I've heard from a lot of people in the medical community and I've asked them, What is one major thing you would have liked for us to put in this bill? And that is tort reform, but it's missing in this legislation. It is imperative that any serious reform of the health care system take a very hard look at the issue of medical liability reform. Unfortunately, this bill fails in that regard, too.
Finally, in the area of constitutionality, while the Constitution grants Congress the authority to regulate commerce among the several States and the Supreme Court has long allowed Congress the ability to regulate and prohibit all sorts of economic activity, this bill goes even further because, for the first time in the history of the U.S. Government, we are regulating inactivity. For the first time, Congress has mandated that individuals purchase a private good approved by the government as the price of citizenship.
On the first day of Congress, I introduced a bill, H.R. 21, the Reclaiming Individual Liberty Act, legislation which would take out that individual mandate, because, while I believe Congress has the ability to pass legislation which I believe is bad policy, I do believe it is wrong to pass unconstitutional legislation.
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