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Mr. GARDNER. I thank the gentleman from New York for his time today and his leadership on this important issue. I know you have a young family, as do I, and you're here today to make sure that we talk about those matters that are important to our families, those things that will lead to a better future for them.
But it's been a disappointing day today when we saw colleagues on the other side of the aisle who had an opportunity to reject one of the largest tax increases in American history, when they could have voted to repeal and begin the replacement process on the health care bill, the President's takeover of health care, but, instead, most of them, the vast majority of them, decided to move forward with the tax, a tax that they pledged they would never commit and carry out on the middle class of this country.
Growing up in a little town of the eastern plains of Colorado, I will never forget my hometown doctor. At times, he was the only doctor in a town of about 3,000 people. His name was Jack Pierce. Dr. Pierce was somebody that's still looked up to in my hometown. He's moved away, lives in Texas now, but he's somebody who parts of the new hospital is named after, somebody who delivered me and was there when my mom, in my hometown, was delivered as well.
Dr. Pierce was my doctor's name. With the health care bill, the rest of America gets Dr. Washington. Dr. Washington is now going to make health care decisions for the American people. If you're sick and you need help, you better have the approval of Dr. Washington first because Dr. Washington has a board of bureaucrats that will decide for you what kind of treatment you may or may not receive.
Dr. Washington is going to ensure that you have a $1,200 increase in health care premiums if you're the average American family. That's just what happened after the first year of enactment of the President's health care takeover.
Dr. Washington will see that, in 2016, you'll have a 13 percent increase in your premium for individuals and families who can buy coverage on their own compared to if the law hadn't been enacted at all, a 13 percent increase if the law hadn't been enacted at all.
Going back to Colorado and talking to business owners, they talk about what their costs will be. Families talk about the insurance that they'd like to have now, the insurance they wanted to keep but are concerned they're not going to be able to under the President's takeover of health care. This tax increase will cost Americans dearly. It will cost them the doctors that they wanted and it will cost them the insurance that they'd like to keep.
We know that this bill is going to cost even more than it was anticipated to cost. As recently as June 27, 2012, they said that this health care bill would cost $1.8 trillion over the next 10 years. Today, we see numbers with new estimates over $2 trillion, nearly $2.6 trillion over the next 10 years to pay for this. How is it going to be paid for? A tax on the American people.
In a letter to the Governor of Texas, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary Sebelius, wrote, saying:
We encourage you to participate in this new, expanded health care opportunity because of the generous Federal benefits that are being offered.
How is this country going to pay for those generous Federal benefits? Deficit spending? borrowing? tax increases? The answer is: All of the above. In fact, that may be the only thing this administration agrees with when it comes to all of the above--taxes, spending, and debt.
Ladies and gentlemen, the people that I represent in Colorado, the people that we represent in this country are asking for real health care solutions. They're asking for solutions that will improve the quality of care while decreasing the cost of care. The President's takeover does none of those.
We have an obligation to this country, to the people we represent, to make sure they understand that when the chief actuary of Medicare says that the two primary promises that were made in this health care bill will never materialize, that it will decrease costs and that if you like the insurance you have, you get to keep it--the chief actuary, independent actuary, has said those two primary promises will not be realized. And yet today, the vast majority of people in the President's own party said move forward with the tax and say good-bye to the health care that you and your family is hoping to secure.
So with that, I would again thank the gentleman from New York for the opportunity to be here to talk about ways that we can move this country forward and our obligation to the American people.
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