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Correcting the Enrollment of H.R. 1473

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, this resolution would defund the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. This is just another way the Republicans are trying to repeal that law. The very first week of this Congress, they voted to repeal the health care law. They said they want to repeal it and replace it. We still have not seen what they propose. They are not proposing reforms to help the middle class. In effect what they would do is increase the number of uninsured in this country by 50 million people. This is a particularly reprehensible way to end health reform--to stop paying for its implementation.

Americans are already benefiting from the law. Seniors are getting discounts on their prescription drugs. Adult children will be able to stay on their parents' insurance until 26. They would reverse the prohibition against preexisting condition denials for children, and they would stop allowing consumers access to preventive care with no cost-sharing.

They pulled the rug out from under current State efforts to develop vibrant, competitive exchange marketplaces, which is the centerpiece for competition in insurance plans to give the consumers choice. But what is most distressing is the dangers it poses to Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program, or health care safety net.

According to a letter from Secretary Sebelius: ``The Affordable Care Act modifies and improves almost every Medicare payment system. If this resolution were enacted, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would not be able to use any funds to administer payments based on any rate calculated on the basis of provisions of the Affordable Care Act,'' which is to say virtually all rates.

Medicare and Medicaid could grind to a halt. The Secretary goes on to say: ``This resolution would adversely affect health care in rural areas. CMS would no longer be able to provide the bonus payments to primary care and general surgeons for eligible services.''

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Mr. WAXMAN. She also says about fraud, waste, and abuse: ``The Affordable Care Act also gives CMS new tools to fight fraud, and helps us move from a pay-and-chase system to a comprehensive, prevention-focused strategy. This resolution would substantially impede CMS's proven and successful efforts to reduce waste and fraud in the health care system, resulting in increased erroneous payments.''

This is a harmful resolution to the interests of the American people, and I urge my colleagues to oppose it.

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