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Public Statements

Health Care Cost Reduction Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. DOGGETT. Well, Mr. Speaker, our long wait is over. A year and a half after their move to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Republicans are back with the ``replace'' part of their ``Repeal and Replace'' slogan. And rather than offering an answer to comprehensive health care for 30 million more Americans, who need it, all they have to offer today is a tax break for Tylenol. Well, I'll tell you, health care in this country is more than a two-Tylenol headache, and it needs a more comprehensive response.

Of course, the real purpose of their action today is just this week's attempt to wreck the Affordable Care Act and to protect health insurance monopolies. Some of these are the very same health insurers that demand more than 20 cents of every dollar for their overhead--20 cents; 10 times the administrative cost of the Medicare system.

But our Republican colleagues never let reality get in the way of ideology when they question most any government initiative that is called ``public,'' as in public education, or ``social,'' as in Social Security. As usual, they continue to demand legislation that offers more comfort for the comfortable, while actually increasing the number of uninsured by 350,000. Understand that. If this legislation becomes law, instead of decreasing the number of uninsured American families, we'll have 350,000 more Americans that don't have health insurance. That's their plan.

Our country continues to face a real health care crisis. Too many small businesses and individuals are paying too much for too little health care. Millions of families are just one accident on the way home from work this evening, or one illness, one child with a disability, from facing personal bankruptcy. That has not changed.

The Affordable Care Act I believe is too weak. It should be much stronger. But it is so much better than the system we find ourselves in today with so many lacking so much. And it's far superior to the Republican do-little or do-next-to-nothing approach; give the American people half a life preserver, which is their approach.

As always, when there is a need for public action, whether it is building a better bridge or more bridges, or providing an opportunity for more young Americans to get a college education, or health care--be it preventive care, school-based care, long-term care--the Republican answer is always the same: No. No. And their excuse is always the same, too: ``The deficit made me do it.''

``I'd like to do something about long-term care, but we just can't afford to do it.'' What a contrast when it comes to bills like that of today.

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Mr. DOGGETT. Because whenever it is about depleting the Treasury's ability to fund those affordable needs for our country, they don't worry too much about the deficit. $46 billion earlier in the year; this bill is part of a package of almost $42 billion of additional revenue depletion. Later in the summer, we are told they will come up with $4 trillion of Bush tax cut extensions.

What this will ultimately lead to, if we pursue the irresponsible path,--of which this is just another step--is that vital public programs that work--Medicare and Social Security--cannot be sustained.

They cannot be financed. There is no free lunch to retirement and health security in this country. It requires that we invest in a responsible way, and that's what the Affordable Health Care Act does.

Reject this legislation today, which will undermine that reform, and set us back in our efforts to provide health care security to millions of American families.

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