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Public Statements

GOP Doctors Caucus

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. HAYWORTH. I thank our colleague, Dr. Cassidy, and I understand that your time may be slightly limited this evening, Doctor, so Dr. Harris and I will be more than happy to lead this discussion as we go along, and I thank you for all the work you do on this very important subject.

The American public has much to be concerned about with regard to the massive 2010 health law, and this was, of course, passed on a party line basis, unfortunately. I and Dr. Harris are two of the representatives who were elected in part in response to the public's grave concerns about this act. And if I can direct everyone's attention to the chart that Dr. Cassidy has revealed next to him, you can see what is projected to happen in terms of Medicaid spending alone as the years go by and, of course, under the terms of the Affordable Care Act, it is like putting gasoline on a fire, unfortunately.

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Ms. HAYWORTH. I'm going to imagine, Dr. Cassidy, that this chart does not take into account--because it could be, indeed, very difficult to do so, but it has to enter the public mind when we think about these things. The enormous cost on the American public of the well-intentioned, but poorly designed, 2010 health law will make our economy weaker. So it's fair to anticipate that there will be a further impetus to acceleration of Medicaid spending merely because of the imposition of that $2 trillion or more of Washington-generated cost due to the terms of the Affordable Care Act.

So this is an issue that concerns every one of us, not only people who are truly in need and unable to sustain a job or their health care--and we've all met these fellow citizens. I have in my own district, the Hudson Valley of New York. These are people like the folks I met at Park, which is a center that provides for people who are severely disabled by developmental disabilities, such as autism, but not only autism. These are good people who, no matter how robust the economy is, will not be able to afford the kind of care that they need. And those are the people in particular who Medicaid was initially intended to help.

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Ms. HAYWORTH. Precisely. So we need to be able to provide for the people who are most in need. That is a reasonable role for government in a great Nation. But what we don't want to do, what we want to avoid is creating economic hardship that will push more Americans into this category. We see that phenomenon happening across our economy as we speak, and it's one of the reasons why so many States have said, we cannot possibly afford to expand our Medicaid programs.

Indeed, Dr. Cassidy, you, being the good teacher that you are, provided me with an example from the State of Connecticut, with their recent experience in opening up their Medicaid program and opening up the enrollment because they had such a dramatic increase--I think it was something like 70 percent increase in the number of enrollees--that the State actually couldn't handle that increase in any way readily. So their services to all of their Medicaid recipients, unfortunately, of necessity, were compromised.

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