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Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. YOUNG of Alaska. Mr. Speaker, I commend our Leaders and Chairman Ryan for the bold budget which we are going to approve today. Many of the programs targeted for cuts in the Reconciliation Package are worthwhile initiatives that I have and will continue to support such as childhood nutrition programs and family support services. However, the future of this nation and that of our children and grandchildren depends on our resolve to address the debt crisis while making certain that our national security is protected. This is not an easy vote, but it is a necessary one.

Despite my willingness to support our Leadership in making these tough choices, I rise to express some concern over one particular provision which would eliminate the Medicaid expansion in the U.S. territories. While on this side we have all voted for the full repeal of Obamacare, this provision had very little to do with that measure. The territories provision was instead intended to close the gap between healthcare funding on the mainland and in the U.S. territories. Puerto Rico, for example, had previously funded 80% of its Medicaid, while states with similar demographics funded only 20%. The provision I am concerned about helped to close that gap.

While we will continue to pursue the full repeal of Obamacare, I will continue to stand for the closing of that gap and for fully funding healthcare in the U.S. territories. The citizens of those jurisdictions are Americans and deserve to be treated with equality.

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