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Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

I thank the chairman for yielding.

As we sit here this morning, there are millions of Americans sitting in front of computers or the want ads desperately looking for their next job, 15 million unemployed Americans. The question they are asking this Congress is why don't you work together to help small businesses and entrepreneurs create jobs for our country?

The answer the majority gives them is we will get to that someday. What they are doing today raises some real questions as well.

A mother has two 4-year-old twins who are diagnosed with leukemia and tries to buy health insurance. The insurance company says we won't sell it to you because your children have leukemia, or we will charge you five times as much.

We say that should be illegal and the law today the majority tries to repeal says differently. A ``yes'' vote for repeal means she is told, Sorry, no insurance.

A person who has faithfully paid his premiums for years and suddenly needs a quadruple bypass heart operation receives a letter from his insurance company that says, Sorry, we are rescinding your coverage. We say, and the law says, that should be illegal. But a vote for repeal says, Sorry, you are on your own.

A pregnant woman who has a very difficult pregnancy and gives birth to a child with severe impairments that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars each month, the law says, and we say, that the insurance company should be legally obligated to pay her bills as long as she and her baby need it, no lifetime policy limits.

But a vote for repeal says she's on her own.

A senior citizen who runs out of prescription drug coverage the Fourth of July or Labor Day, the law says, and the bill says, they should get some help to continue to buy their prescriptions for the rest of the year. But a vote for repeal says she's on her own. We're all on our own on paying the debt. Our President is meeting with the President of China today; and as we do that, the majority is adding over $1 trillion to the national debt with this vote.

Ladies and gentlemen of the House, this bill doesn't create jobs for the middle class. It creates pain for the middle class. The right vote is ``no'' on this repeal. The right course is get back to the job of creating jobs for the American people. Vote ``no.''

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. Speaker, I wanted to explore one of the aspects of this repeal promise that's being kept.

Thus far, there are hundreds of thousands of seniors who have gotten $250 rebate checks to help them pay for prescription drugs. I would ask anyone on the other side, what does the legislation say about whether or not the seniors will have to repay those checks to the government?

I would yield to anyone who can answer.

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So in the hours that we've spent thus far during this debate, we could have been debating ways to help small businesses and entrepreneurs create jobs for the American people, but we did not. Instead, we have gotten the slogan, ``job-killing health care bill.'' The slogan is very much at odds with the facts.

The fact is that since the health care bill was signed by the President, the private sector has generated 1.1 million new jobs. The fact is that the chief economist for Barclays says he believes that the economy is on track to add many, many jobs this year, probably 200,000 or so per month is his projection.

We've heard about protecting the children and grandchildren of the country against mounting debt. For years, there has been an understanding here that the referee in budget disputes has been the Congressional Budget Office, through Republican and Democratic majorities. Republican, Democratic, and Independents, they are the referee who decides what the rules are. So the Congressional Budget Office was asked by Speaker Boehner to score this repeal, and they came back and said, Well, Mr. Speaker, this is going to add over $1 trillion to the national debt over the next 20 years. The majority didn't like what they said, so they just chose to ignore it and make up the rules as they go along.

But what they haven't done as they've gone along is still answer the fundamental question we started with this morning. When a mother of two 4-year-old twins goes to buy health insurance and the health insurer says, ``I'm sorry, we won't insure your family because your 4-year-olds have leukemia,'' should that be legal or not? That's the question.

The law the President signed in March says it should be illegal. This repeal says, let's go back to the good old days where the insurance companies made that decision.

We are not going back. We should go forward as a country to create jobs for our people and end the charade we've seen on the House floor here this morning.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. Speaker, I think we should begin by thanking Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi for leading us through such a civil debate at such an important hour of our country's history; a moment of consequence. Unfortunately, one of the consequences of this debate is that we did not debate the issue that is most on the minds of the American people, which is unemployment and 15 million of our neighbors being unemployed.

Having said that, there are lots of consequences to this repeal bill, and Members should be aware of each one of them.

If a woman with breast cancer or a man with diabetes loses his or her job and tries to get another job, under the law that is in effect, the insurance company can't deny them coverage or charge them more for it because of their preexisting condition. This bill repeals that protection. It makes it legal for the insurance company to say, We're sorry, we are not going to sell you health insurance because you have breast cancer. We're sorry, we are going to raise your premiums fivefold because you have diabetes. These are serious, unwelcomed consequences.

Another consequence of serving in this institution is that we are the people's House. We are the elected people who are closest to the people; and, therefore, we are expected to most understand the shoes in which they walk every day. Many of us say these things at our town meetings. I have heard this from Republicans, from Democrats, from tea party members, from Independents: Congress should live by the same rules it imposes on everyone else. I don't think you can go to a district in this country that people wouldn't embrace that idea. Indeed, on the Web site of our Speaker from the last term in the Congress, in his biography you can read the following. It refers to the Congressional Accountability Act which requires Congress to ``live under the same rules and regulations as the rest of the Nation.'' It bears the unmistakable imprint of Speaker Boehner's drive to reform the House: live under the same rules and regulations as the rest of the Nation.

So this motion to recommit says the following: In the spirit of that principle, Members who support the repeal should live with its consequences. This repeal will become effective when a majority of this House and a majority of the other body are dismissed from membership in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program that the taxpayers fund for the Members of the House.

There are serious consequences of this bill. We believe that repealing it is unfair and wrong, just plain wrong. But it would be even more plain wrong for those who support repeal to live by a different standard.

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