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Public Statements

Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. HARRIS. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank Chairman Ryan for yielding 3 minutes to talk about such an important subject as the health care of our seniors.

You know, the other side of the aisle wants to play pretend. Let's pretend that we have a program sustainable for all future generations. Let's pretend that all our seniors right now have access to all the medical care and physicians that they want. Let's pretend that the Medicare program that the President's health care reform bill establishes for our seniors allows seniors and their doctors to choose what care is best for them.

But, Mr. Chairman, we would have to be playing pretend because, in fact, we know that the program is not sustainable for all generations. This graph here is not from the Republican conference. This is from the Congressional Budget Office. This is what happens, the red. It's no accident that it's in red. This is what happens to Medicare spending under the President's proposals.

We are right here in the middle. This is when my children reach their middle age. This is when they retire. This is when my grandchildren reach their retirement. It's not sustainable. Anyone looking at that graph knows it's not sustainable. We can't play pretend.

We would have to play pretend that all seniors have access to physicians. Go into my district in rural areas where seniors tell you they don't have access to primary care already because the Medicare program currently squeezes the payments, the providers to where providers no longer choose to take on as many Medicare patients as they can. The President's plan makes it even worse.

Finally, we would be pretending that patients get to choose and their physicians get to choose their care because under the President's plan, there are 15 unelected bureaucrats who decide, that President's rationing board, who decide what care my mother now will get, what care I'm going to get in 10 years, what care my son is going to get in 39 years when he reaches retirement age. Fifteen unelected bureaucrats, Mr. Chairman, by law only a minority of that board can ever have practiced health care. The majority are bureaucrats never having taken care of a patient. That's the plan that we have now.

Mr. Chairman, it will break if we don't take care of it.

I applaud the chairman of the Budget Committee for the bravery; and, Mr. Chairman, you know what the ads are going to be. You can see it now. You can hear all the talking points. America knows health care in America needs repair. They know the Medicare program needs repair if we're going to preserve it for future generations.

I urge my colleagues to choose this as the repair for our future generations.

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