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Public Statements

GOP Freshmen Special Order

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. GRIFFIN of Arkansas. Thank you. I appreciate it very much.

Mr. Speaker, we have heard a lot about repeal and replace, and I have a lot of constituents asking about the replace part of that. And what I tell them is we have a lot of ideas that have been introduced here in the House. In fact, by last count, there are over 200. I think it's something like 219 bills introduced in the House that relate to health care reform. So we are not short of ideas in terms of implementing real health care reform.

But before we get to that, we first must repeal this monstrosity, this almost 3,000-page monstrosity of taxes, new boards, and new agencies that makes it more difficult for businesses to hire new people. So that's why we're

here focusing on repeal today.

We have, Mr. Speaker, lots of ideas. For example, many of us here support medical liability reform. Gallup polls and other experts have testified that much of the cost of what we pay in health care is attributable to the practice of defensive medicine. By some counts, one-quarter of all health care costs are attributable to the practice of defensive medicine.

We have a great medical liability reform bill. In fact, if I remember correctly, a couple years ago in the State of the Union, the President said he was in favor of medical liability reform. I haven't heard much from him on that. I wish he would talk more about it. It certainly wasn't part of his health care law. But that's a great idea that will reduce the practice of defensive medicine and reduce the cost of health care and, in turn, make health insurance more affordable, which, in turn, addresses the access question.

We also have great legislation introduced by my friend, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. She has got a great bill. What it does is it allows for competition between insurance companies across State lines. So if you live in Arkansas and you see a health care plan that you want to buy over in Tennessee, our neighboring State, well, you can buy that plan. And then if you move to Arizona--I don't know why you would leave Arkansas, but if you did, you could take that with you across State lines.

Competition, choice, and patient-centered options, that's the kind of health care reform we need. And that's the kind of health care reform that I favor, that many folks here in the House favor, and that is reflected in the over 200 bills that have been introduced here. And we want to get to that. But before we can get to that, before we can focus on the replace, we have to repeal. And that's why we're here again asking the Senate to do its part.

I'll tell you, I've had some folks on Twitter and Facebook and other places say, You're just wasting your time. Why are you just wasting your time? I think I was asked that on television earlier today. And my response was, when I made a pledge in my campaign to repeal ObamaCare, the President's health care law, whatever you want to call it, my pledge was not I'm going to fight to repeal it if the Senate agrees to pass it. That wasn't my pledge. My pledge was I'm going to fight to repeal it. I'm going to control what I can control. I can't control the Senate.

In fact, I told somebody on Twitter about 15 minutes ago, before I came down here to the floor, I said, well, if we in the House only took action on issues that we know the Senate will vote on, we would all be sleeping. Mr. Speaker, you'd be sleeping in the chair and we'd be sleeping, because the Senate doesn't take action on much of anything. Sometimes I feel like I've got to walk down there and wake them up.

So my job in fulfilling my promises, my pledges, and my commitment to my constituents is not dependent upon whether the Senate is going to do the right thing or not. I hope they do. I'm praying for them, and I wish them well. But we're going to do our job here regardless of what they do down there.

I'll say one more thing. Anybody who has been paying attention over the last 2 years knew before I ever got elected what my intention was. And I think a lot of us talked about this before we ever got here, and what we are doing is following through on our promise.

I yield back, and I appreciate the time.


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