BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mr. AUSTIN SCOTT of Georgia. My father, as you, is a health care professional, an orthopedic surgeon who came out of med school when I was just a child. I spent a lot of time in a physician's office and in a not-for-profit hospital watching my dad take care of patients and helping them. And certainly that doctor-patient relationship is something that has been stripped away in this bill.
But I want to talk about the numbers, not just the relationships right now, because I think it's important to reflect on what happened 833 days ago
when then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the American public that Congress must pass the bill so they could find out what was in it.
Now, I have no doubt that the President, in his endorsement of the bill, surely he read it and knew exactly what was in it. And the Speaker of the House of Representatives, it would have been irresponsible for her to endorse a bill without knowing what was in it. They had to understand it would negatively affect our economy.
The gentleman who was just in the well talking about Americans wanting to going to work, he's absolutely right. The Republicans in this House have passed a tremendous number of jobs bills that would help put Americans back to work, help reduce the cost of petroleum in this country; and yet they sit over in the Senate idle, along with a bill that would actually repeal this national health care law that has kept us in a recession.
Now, they forged ahead with this legislation instead of working on the economic issues that so many Americans needed them to work on and, quite honestly, despite the protest of the American public. They simply thumbed their nose at the American citizens. That's why, when it came time to go to the polls, 87 new freshman Republicans came to Washington. Districts where the President had gotten almost 60 percent of the vote, those people, who Americans who understood that their rights had been stripped from them, absolutely rejected the President's health care bill.
Now, 822 days since the Democratic-controlled House passed the President's health care bill. I would remind you it was just a few days before that when, in order to get the votes to pass it, he met with pro-life Democrats and assured them that in no way, shape or form would abortions be funded in the bill. That was his commitment to pro-life Democrats to get them to vote for the bill. Obviously, we now know that that wasn't necessarily true. We all know where the mandate has come out that he has told people that he really doesn't care if it violates their faith or their religious principles, they're going to do what he says, not what their faith tells them to do--certainly a direct violation of people's constitutional rights.
Now, it's 820 days since the President signed it into law. There's been no recovery, and there could have been. There's no ifs, ands, or buts about it: more Americans would be at work today right now if that bill had not been passed. And the sooner it is undone, the sooner Americans will be able to get back to work.
Eighty-nine days since the Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments about the constitutionality of the law, 89 days. Now, Mr. Speaker, the American people began feeling the negative impact of this bill, quite honestly, as soon as it was passed on day one. Unfortunately, they will continue to feel the impact of this legislation until Congress fully repeals and replaces it.
Some more numbers for you. In the past year, the average cost of health care per active worker rose to $11,176. The increase was $800, almost $1,000 a month per worker. The employee share of premium contributions increased by 63 percent, and there was a 62 percent increase for dependent coverage. Yes, all of this, all of this because of the increasing cost and the mandates in the health care bill.
Eighty-one percent of companies said the health care law had increased administrative burdens on their human resources department; and they are not, in many cases, hiring people because of the unknown cost of the legislation. One in six firms said the cost of complying with the law is one of their top challenges in maintaining affordable coverage.
Mr. Speaker, while it's my firm hope that the Supreme Court will find this law unconstitutional--which I believe it is--we must continue the effort to repeal and replace this bill.
We can't wait for the November election, Mr. Speaker. The American people need this bill repealed right now.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT