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Public Statements

Protecting Access to Healthcare Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. HOLT. I thank my friend from California.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to H.R. 5, which would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which I think is one of the good features of the health reform law.

I have real concerns about H.R. 5. We're talking about undoing work instead of doing the work that this Congress should do--repealing IPAB in the pretext of protecting Medicare just one day after the Republican budget was released that would end Medicare and shift the costs of health care to our seniors while giving tax breaks to millionaires. There's just no logic to this.

The bill would also make significant changes to the Federal health care liability system, making it difficult for legitimately injured patients to hold health care providers accountable, including even limiting the ability of victims of sexual abuse from getting justice from the institutions and providers who had harmed them.

The health reform law, which the Republicans want to repeal, included malpractice reforms, like grant programs for States. While I support improvements to the medical malpractice process, it's important to note that malpractice is not the primary--not even really a significant reason--for the escalating health care costs. States that have passed stringent limits on medical malpractice claims like the ones in H.R. 5 have in fact some of the most expensive health care in the country.

This bill is irresponsible and unnecessary. Where is the transportation bill? Where are the jobs bills? Why are we on the floor talking about undoing good work instead of doing the work that this Congress should be doing? This bill is irresponsible and unnecessary. I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this political theater.

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