Today, Congressman Eric Cantor (VA-07) delivered the following remarks on the House floor calling for the repeal of the health care law. The repeal of ObamaCare passed by a vote of 245-189.
Mr. Speaker, America did not become great by accident. We are a great country because we continue to strive toward the protection and expansion of individual liberties in a way that people cannot find anywhere else in the world. Our system of free enterprise inspires people to pursue opportunity, to take responsibility for their lives and to achieve success.
Yet for the past two years, Congress and the Administration have pushed an agenda that moves America in the opposite direction by eroding individual freedoms. It's part of a philosophy premised upon government siphoning more money, control and power out of the private sector. And the health care law we seek to repeal today is the tip of the spear.
Mr. Speaker, let's make something clear: both parties care deeply about health care. Likewise, Republicans have rejected the status quo. We simply disagree with our counterparts on the other side of the aisle that excessive government regulation and sweeping mandates on individuals and businesses are the right way to go about effecting the reforms Americans want.
The construct of this law is fundamentally unworkable. Instead of preserving the doctor-patient relationship, this legislation we seek to repeal, is rooted in having federal bureaucrats come between patients and their doctors, limiting choices.
If you go back to the health care debate last Congress, the President, then-Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid often spoke of two goals: One, we should strive to lower costs. Two, if Americans liked the health insurance coverage they had, they should be able to keep it.
Mr. Speaker, we believe in the aftermath of the bill's passage these goals have not and cannot be met. Therefore, doesn't it stand to reason that we must repeal this law and begin an honest debate about a better way forward?
Of all the most disingenuous myths in this town, perhaps the biggest is the notion that repealing the health care law will increase the deficit. Let's remember here: we are adding an open-ended entitlement.
The new law is riddled with budget gimmicks that double-count savings, offset 6 years of benefits with 10 years of tax increases, and rely on cuts to Medicare and tax increases to fund a new entitlement.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office works hard to provide accurate accounting, but it is only able to score the legislation put in front of them -- even if it includes budget gimmicks and fiscal shell games designed to hide its true cost. The reality is that this trillion-dollar, new government entitlement will lead to a one-size-fits-all cure and put our country and our states on the path to bankruptcy.
At a time when we need to do everything in our power to encourage job creation, the health care law hangs around the necks of businesses and serves as a barrier to job creation.
If we want to deliver real results, the right way to go about health care reform is to lower costs and improve access. That is why, after the House passes this repeal of ObamaCare, we will begin a two-step process of, first, conducting oversight of the law and the impact its had on our economy and our health care system, and two, beginning work on a new vision to improve health care without bankrupting our country and taking away the health care that most Americans want and like.
This majority is dedicated to achieving results for the American people. As we've said before, we are a cut-and-grow Congress. We will cut spending and job-destroying regulation, and grow private-sector jobs and the economy. Repealing last year's health care law is a critical step. Mr. Speaker: We can do better. We will do better. And I urge my colleagues to support repeal.