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Mr. Speaker, I believe it is time that this Congress does what President Obama called on Americans to do last week: approach our debates and our differences with civility and honesty.
We appear to be doing reasonably well with regard to civility, but less so with honesty. Once again, we tackle health care, and the debate is sliding back to one-line attacks and misrepresentation instead of the new health care law's merits or its actual impact on real Americans.
The Affordable Care Act has been referred to as a ``job-crushing law.'' This is simply not honest as my colleagues across the aisle disregard the fact that, since it was signed into law last March, over 1 million private sector jobs have been added to the economy, with 207,000 of those jobs coming from the health care sector.
Some speak of the repeal as if eliminating health care reform would have no meaningful fiscal consequences. This, too, is not honest. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated full repeal would increase the deficit by $230 billion over 10 years and another $1.2 trillion in the following decade.
Some argue that repeal will, in fact, reduce the deficit. If this is true, why have we yet to see a positive score that affirms such a point?
Repeal does nothing, absolutely nothing, other than leaving families with real health issues no place to go for help.
What do I tell the parents of the 9,000 children in my district with preexisting conditions who will be unable to access coverage when the ban on discriminating against children with preexisting conditions is repealed?
When insurance companies can claim cancer or pregnancy as a preexisting condition, what will survivors and mothers do for health coverage?
What will the 126,000 so affected individuals on eastern Long Island do?
What will the 2,400 young adults who have been able to stay on or to rejoin their parents' health insurance on eastern Long Island do if repeal is successful?
What will the 112,000 Medicare beneficiaries who can now receive free cancer screenings and other preventive care do?
What about the 8,500 part D prescription drug plan recipients who can no longer count on the doughnut hole being closed and who will, once again, face higher drug costs if repeal is successful?
Mr. Speaker, simply replacing the positive impact the Affordable Care Act has had on American families with inaccurate arguments does not solve our problem. I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on the legislation.
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