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Repeal of Obamacare Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 15 seconds.

Our side is going to try to bring some facts to the debate. My friend from Minnesota, the chairman of the committee, said this is a job-destroying health care bill. Since the day the President signed the bill, American companies have created 4.3 million private sector jobs.

At this time I would like to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Texas, who clearly understands the need for high-quality health care for all people in our country, Mr. Hinojosa.

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Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 30 seconds.

I would ask my friend from Michigan if he could just stay for a question.

My friend from Michigan just said that there is an estimate that the bill has doubled in cost, and I have read all the CBO analyses of this bill. I wonder if the gentleman could tell me the source of his statement from the Congressional Budget Office that the bill has doubled in cost from the original estimate.

I yield to the gentleman.

Mr. WALBERG. I appreciate you yielding.

It is the CBO. Go to the Congressional Budget Office. They have directly stated that it would double.

Mr. ANDREWS. Reclaiming my time, if the gentleman could supplement the record with the date and the document that says that, I would appreciate it.

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Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 30 seconds.

Mr. Speaker, we know what our Republican friends mean when they say give seniors more choice under Medicare. They mean let them choose which private insurance company should run Medicare instead of regular Medicare. American seniors know you can count on the Medicare guarantee no matter what the circumstances are, whether you're profitable to take care of or not. That's why they support Medicare. That's why we support Medicare, even though the majority has voted on several occasions to terminate the Medicare guarantee.

At this time, Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to a gentleman who understands that preexisting conditions should be made illegal and insurance companies should not be able to pursue them, the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Tierney).

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Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 20 seconds.

We share the gentleman from Wisconsin's concern about squeezing down health care costs. The record shows that since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, growth in Medicare costs, which had been 8 percent annually, has fallen to 6 percent annually by stopping giveaway corporate welfare profits to insurance companies and other waste while increasing Medicare benefits.

I am now pleased to yield 2 minutes to a Member who understands that being a woman should never mean paying higher premiums or being a preexisting condition, the gentlelady from California (Ms. Woolsey).

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Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 30 seconds.

Mr. Speaker, we continue to hear this charge that there's $500 billion in Medicare cuts in the health care bill. Here are the facts: the new law eliminates a corporate welfare subsidy for certain health insurance companies and goes after some wasteful Medicare practices. All the Republican speakers who have spoken today must agree with those cuts because every single one of them has voted for every single one of those cuts in the last two Ryan Republican budgets. Every dollar of Medicare savings in the Health Savings Act is in the last two Republican budgets.

I am pleased at this time to yield 2 minutes to someone who understands the benefit of families' being able to keep their sons and daughters on health insurance policies until they're 26, my friend and colleague from New Jersey (Mr. Holt).

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Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 25 seconds.

The gentleman just said this is the largest tax increase in American history. Here is the record: there are two kinds of people who will pay higher taxes under this law. Ninety-seven percent of American families won't pay one dime of tax increases under this law. The first family that pays a tax increase is a family with a gross income in excess of about $300,000 a year. It's about 1 percent, maybe 2 percent, of the U.S. households. The second is a person who can afford health insurance, who elects not to buy it, who uses the emergency room and expects his or her neighbors to pay their bill. That's not the largest tax increase in American history.

At this time, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to a gentlelady who understands who gets hurt if this law gets repealed, the gentlelady from San Diego, Mrs. Davis.

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Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 25 seconds.

The gentleman just said this is the largest tax increase in American history. Here is the record: there are two kinds of people who will pay higher taxes under this law. Ninety-seven percent of American families won't pay one dime of tax increases under this law. The first family that pays a tax increase is a family with a gross income in excess of about $300,000 a year. It's about 1 percent, maybe 2 percent, of the U.S. households. The second is a person who can afford health insurance, who elects not to buy it, who uses the emergency room and expects his or her neighbors to pay their bill. That's not the largest tax increase in American history.

At this time, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to a gentlelady who understands who gets hurt if this law gets repealed, the gentlelady from San Diego, Mrs. Davis.

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Mr. ANDREWS. I yield myself an additional 15 seconds.

This summer, millions of American families will be getting rebates from their health insurance companies

because they haven't spent their money on care; they spent it on profit and overhead. We don't think that's such a bad regulation.

Mr. Speaker, in the interest of time, I think my friend, the chairman, has more speakers than we do, so we're going to have them go two for our one to kind of keep it even, if that's okay with my friend, the chairman.

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Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 20 seconds.

My friend from Pennsylvania just made reference to the employer mandate. It's very important that the public know and the Members know that if a business has 50 or fewer full-time employees, what they have to do under the Affordable Care Act is nothing. There is no mandate of any kind for a business with fewer than 50 full-time employees.

I'm pleased at this point to yield 2 minutes to a gentlelady who fought hard for senior citizen rebates and prescription drugs, the gentlelady from Cleveland, Ohio (Ms. Fudge).

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Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 15 seconds.

My friend's comments echo ones we've heard for the last 2 years about the unconstitutionality of the law. The Supreme Court spoke with great authority to that question. People may agree or disagree with the policy, but this law is clearly constitutional and valid.

I am pleased at this time to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Courtney), the author, the originator of the discrimination provisions against preexisting conditions, the gentleman that really initiated that.

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Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 30 seconds.

The gentleman from Indiana just said that this would be where taxes would hit the middle class. I wish that were true in some ways because the people this hits are people with a household income of over $300,000 a year. I wish more people in the middle class made more than $300,000 a year, but they do not.

And then secondly, with respect to Medicaid enrollees, for the first 3 years the Federal Treasury picks up 100 percent of that cost. And thereafter, the average is about 95 percent of the cost of the new enrollees. This is a benefit to State governments, and I predict that virtually all of them will opt to join in.

At this time, I am pleased to yield 1 1/2 minutes to a gentleman who understands the impact on hardworking families being able to get affordable health care in this country, the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Carnahan).

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Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 20 seconds.

The gentlelady just talked about cutting a half a trillion dollars from Medicare. The fact is that the Affordable Care Act extends the life of Medicare for 8 years. It adds benefits for seniors and, more interestingly, the cuts that were made which take corporate welfare money away from insurance companies and avoid waste were voted on in favor by every Republican who has spoken today because every dollar of those cuts was used in the last two Republican budgets.

At this time, I would like to yield 1 1/2 minutes to a gentleman who has been a leader in health care for a long time and who understands just how much his district has benefited from affordable health insurance, my good friend from California (Mr. Farr).

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Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 15 seconds.

My friend from Alabama, in describing the individual mandate which Republicans have supported for years, said that it's imposed irrespective of income. That's not accurate. If you're on Medicaid, the mandate, of course, is covered by Medicaid. There is also a hardship exemption for someone who can demonstrate that he can't afford it, and he is given a subsidy. There is also a religious conscience exemption.

At this time, I would like to yield 2 minutes to a gentleman who worked very hard to make sure that small businesses and entrepreneurs were aided by this bill and not hurt by it, the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Polis).

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Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 40 seconds.

Mr. Speaker, we've done some research, and have been unable to find any occasion in the recent history of the House where a major piece of legislation has been brought to the floor where the Congressional Budget Office has not yet scored what it's going to cost. I think it's very important that Members understand this. No one can tell the Members of the House how much this repeal will add to the deficit. No one. When the first repeal came up in January of 2011, the Congressional Budget Office said it would add about $220 billion plus to the deficit to repeal the law. No one can tell us this afternoon how much this will add to the deficit.

The Congressional Budget Office has said by about July 23 they will be able to answer that question, but we're in a huge hurry tonight. We have to pass this law this week because Mr. Cantor said the day of the Supreme Court decision that we're going to show how bold and decisive we were.

Why should Congress vote on a bill when absolutely no one knows how much it's going to cost? I have not heard that answer from the majority side.

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Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 15 seconds.

The changes in Medicare that the gentleman from Wisconsin just spoke about added 8 years to the life of Medicare, added benefits to Medicare. They were so bad that he voted for them twice. Every dollar of those Medicare savings were in the last two Republican budgets for which he voted.

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Mr. ANDREWS. I yield myself 15 seconds.

Mr. Speaker, this is the first time, apparently, in the modern history of the Congress where we voted on a major piece of legislation and not a soul knows how much it's going to cost the Federal treasury. I think that's an irregular and irresponsible procedure. I think on that basis alone people should vote against this bill.

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Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 15 seconds.

The $1.7 trillion cost the gentleman just mentioned is a gross cost. The last time the CBO looked at this, which was in 2011, the first of 31 attempts at repeal, they said that the net savings to the deficit would be over $200 billion. Repealing the health care bill costs the Federal treasury money and adds to the deficit.

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