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Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I do rise in support of H.R. 1217. I think this is an important bill for us to bring forward. And I want to thank the chairman for bringing it forward and for helping to lead this Congress in the repeal of ObamaCare. It is a message that the American people sent loud and clear last November. They do not want to see government coming in and controlling their health care choices. That is something that should be made by individuals, their family members, and their physicians and not by the Federal Government.
I have found it so interesting, as we have been through the hearings on this and through the markups, that we continue to hear, well, this $17 3/4 billion, well, it's just not that much money. Isn't that amazing that in the middle of a CR crisis and a debt crisis that we are hearing such rhetoric?
I think it is amazing that we are being told, and through what we know--yes, and some of us did read the bill and so we do know what was in that bill--that the Secretary can spend this however she wants to. She does not have to come back to Congress another time to get permission for spending this slush fund. And isn't it amazing that some of our colleagues think that a fund will make people healthier? Money doesn't make people healthier. We all know that.
And isn't it amazing that in the middle of all of this, we are out of money at the Federal level? We all know that the cost of health care is rising, and we know that one of the reasons that the cost of health care has risen so much in the last few years is government intervention. Those are some of the known components that we have.
I think it's important to realize too, Mr. Chairman, eliminating the slush fund does not cut any specific program. And proponents of this fund want to claim that we're cutting, we're cutting, we're cutting. What we're doing is saying, no, you can't allow the Secretary to have control and just give it out. This needs to go through the normal, regular funding processes. That is very important. And it's time that we realize we have to do that.
Yes, let's move forward. Yes, let's repeal ObamaCare. Yes, let's get it off the books. Let's do everything we can to get the Federal Government out of your pocket, out of the middle of your health care decisions. Let's make certain that those choices go to individuals and to their physicians and that they are not going to be dictated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, who has a slush fund of $17.75 billion to spend as she or he sees fit over the next 10 years.
We need to be changing the way health care is going to work, and we need to do it with putting individuals in charge.
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