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Public Statements

Providing for Consideration of H.R. 6079, Repeal of Obamacare Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. SESSIONS. House Resolution 724 provides a closed rule for consideration of H.R. 6079.

Madam Speaker, today I rise in support of this rule and the underlying bill. H.R. 6079, the Repeal of Obamacare Act of 2012, was introduced by the Republican majority leader, Eric Cantor, the gentleman from Virginia. The bill text has been online since last Thursday, giving Members more than the mandatory 3 days to read and to understand the language.

Madam Speaker, on June 28, just 12 days ago, the United States Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate provisions contained in ObamaCare, thereby forcing every American to purchase health insurance. While I may disagree with how they ruled, I respect their decision and there is nothing we can do to change that. ObamaCare is now the official law of the land.

However, there is something this body can do to reverse the course and to prevent the job-destroying aspects of this bill from taking effect: a complete repeal of the bill that the President asked this Congress to pass under Speaker Pelosi--and they did. We need to repeal ObamaCare today. In 2010, Republicans were elected all across this country because Americans understood the need to stop the tax-and-spend policies of the other party. H.R. 6079 will do exactly that.

Last night in the Rules Committee, my colleague and friend, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Andrews), urged us to ``dispassionately examine the facts.'' I agree with just that sentiment and would like to take a moment to do just that.

Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CMS, reported that health insurance premiums are expected to rise by over 44 percent over the next 9 years as a result of ObamaCare. And since ObamaCare was signed into law, there has been a steady decline in the number of Americans on private health insurance.

A report from the McKinsey Group found that more than 50 percent of employers with a high awareness of the law say that they will stop offering health insurance, confirming what Republicans have been saying for 3 years, and that is, that ObamaCare is designed to force employers to drop coverage in an attempt to get Americans to enter the new health care exchanges.

A Kaiser Family Foundation report found that health insurance premiums have increased by 9 percent, or $1,200, for the average American family following passage of the President's health care bill.

According to the 2010 Medicare Trustees Report, as a direct result of ObamaCare, more than 90 percent of seniors will lose the retiree prescription drug coverage they have and will see nearly double-digit premium increases. Seniors will also see reduced access to doctors, as Medicare officials explained that physicians ``could find it difficult to remain profitable and might end their participation in the program, which possibly could jeopardize access to care for beneficiaries.''

According to the President's own budget, the cost of ObamaCare subsidies have jumped $111 billion in just 1 year. Earlier this year, during a Ways and Means Committee hearing on February 28, 2012, when asked why this happened, Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius said, ``I really don't know.''

Finally, earlier this year, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office adjusted their long-term outlook of the impact of ObamaCare on our national debt. The revised figures show ObamaCare will cost taxpayers $1.8 trillion--twice as much as the President promised in 2010 when the bill was passed.

These are just a few of the facts that I believe should be considered dispassionately as we debate whether to repeal ObamaCare. If you think that the facts I just listed are what the country needs, vote to keep it. However, if you, like me, find these facts unacceptable for our future, then I urge you to join me in repealing ObamaCare so that we can focus on patient-centered health care solutions which do not increase dramatically insurance premiums, do not restrict access to physicians, and do not mount unsustainable debt onto our children and grandchildren, as well as harming employers who wish to employ more Americans.

I urge my colleagues to vote for the rule and the underlying bill, and I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. SESSIONS. I appreciate the gentleman engaging me. This really is of substance to the American people.

The cost of the bill is twice now--we found out a year after it was passed--twice as expensive as it was originally started.

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Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. Speaker, the Republicans today have brought forth the ideas about why we are repealing the ObamaCare health care bill. The process that was gone through has been under wide debate, but the results are factually known and understood.

Mr. Speaker, our economy is in shambles. Our economy is in shambles because of uncertainty, uncertainty in the marketplace about the rules and regulations, not just of health care, but about the impact of Big Government, and this is the big daddy of all of them. The health care bill is the big daddy that invades every single piece, part of not just this country and our society, but because of the way it reaches into individuals and to families, it is very disruptive.

The IRS will be empowered to hire up to 17,000 new IRS agents to make sure that not only are taxes being paid, but to make sure that the government has its way with people who, even though they may or may not choose to get health care, will be required to by this government. We well understand what the results are of this bill; and as a result of that, that's why Republicans are on the floor of the House of Representatives today.

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Mr. SESSIONS. I appreciate the gentlewoman from New York not only for her indulgence of this issue the past few days but also for her professional nature today.

Mr. Speaker, we're on the floor because the health care bill that the President and House Democrats and Senate Democrats supported costs twice as much 1 year later as was guesstimated the year before.

The United States is suffering economically, people are suffering economically, and we are losing our competitiveness with the world. We are here because the biggest driver of what I would consider to be not just lack of jobs in this country but also continued uncertainty for the business community. Someone called them corporations. They're really employers. Employers across this country are saying to Members of Congress not just in sworn testimony but in media after media, newspaper after newspaper, that it is uncertainty related to the health care bill that is causing them not to move forward on their plans to grow their business.

We are here today because we need to make sure that we also understand the cost--the cost that is twice as much in 1 year as was guesstimated to be in the year before. This cost in doubling, this would mean that this body either needs to come up with a way to pay for it, which would mean, following the Democrats' proposal, instead of taking $500 billion out of Medicare, we would take $1 trillion out of Medicare. Instead of raising taxes $570 billion, we would have to raise taxes $1 trillion. Instead of all these things that the bill does that taxes people, instead of it being exactly the way they said it would be, including $70 billion for a plan for long-term care that now they cannot sustain, it would have to be $140 billion.

Mr. Speaker, the American people do understand that health care is important, and Republicans would insist upon us following, just as we have in the past, health care bills which would better the marketplace, and people would have the ability to purchase health care at an affordable amount and to make sure that we have physicians and patients that have a close relationship. Please make no mistake: tort reform would be at the top of our order.

Secondly, buying insurance across State lines would include a healthy marketplace. Third, 26-year-olds being on their parents' insurance, that's a bipartisan idea. High-risk pools to help spread out the cost would become available. We're for those, too. And certainly associated health care plans that are able to pool their resources so that they can have a bigger team size in which to purchase health care would be important. But more importantly, we need to make sure that every single American gets health care on a pretax basis.

We've made our case today, Mr. Speaker. I am very proud of what we're doing. I urge my colleagues to vote for the rule and the underlying bill.

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