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Public Statements

GOP Doctor's Caucus: The Anniversary of ObamaCare

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mrs. BACHMANN. Thank you so much, Representative Burgess, and I should say "Dr. Burgess'' as well. I thank you for your first-class understanding of how devastating ObamaCare is in the lives of real people, and I thank Dr. Harris, who just gave his remarks as well.

This is an issue that impacts every single American who is watching us right now, Mr. Speaker; and I hope there are people all across the country who have tuned in to hear what's happening on the House floor, because this is really an update of sorts.

It has been 3 years since the President of the United States signed this devastating bill. Let's just remind the American people of what President Obama said that we could take to the bank. Again, this bill was voted on right here in this Chamber. It was about midnight when it happened. It was midnight on a Sunday night, and I think it was on March 21 the night that it was signed. The President told all of the American people, in fact, that we've got to hurry, hurry, hurry and pass this bill because, if we do that, then the average American household will save about $2,500 a year on its health insurance premium.

I'd vote for that. That would be a great thing to do. I want every American to save money on his health insurance; but, Mr. Speaker, just the opposite happened.

People have been having increases in their health insurance premiums of well over $2,500 a year, so the President was off by a factor of about $5,000. That also doesn't take into account the fact that, under President Obama's leadership, the average American household has actually lost almost $5,000 of income.

So if you couple both the loss of income under this President's leadership and the fact that the President, with all due respect, didn't tell the American people the truth about how much they would save on health insurance premiums, that has a devastating impact on American households. Particularly, this is really hurting the senior citizens whom we love and whom we care about. Why? Dr. Harris told us. Dr. Burgess told us: President Obama took over $700 billion out of--where?--Medicare.

Over $700 billion has come out of Medicare. And where has it been shifted? Into ObamaCare. Who does that hurt? That hurts the people we love, that hurts the senior citizens of this country.

Let me tell you, Mr. Speaker, about who else is devastatingly impacted by ObamaCare. We were all told that we're going to get 30 million new people free health care. Gee, whoop, that sounds great. Let me tell you who's not going to get health care. Let me tell you what ObamaCare has deep in its pages, and nobody read this bill. Why didn't they read it? It isn't because Members of Congress were too lazy to read it, it's because, unfortunately, the Democrats that controlled the House of Representatives, the Democrats that controlled the Senate, didn't even bother to give the Members the bill in enough time to even read the bill. In the Senate, they had maybe a couple of hours. Here in the House, we had very little time to read the bill. Nobody could read the bill. Maybe that's why the former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, said, famously: We have to pass the bill to know what's in it.

Well, now we know what's in it. And we also know who's going to be hurt. And more than anyone in this bill, it is women who are hurt by ObamaCare. It is children who are hurt by ObamaCare. And even worse, Mr. Speaker, it is the poorest women and the poorest children who are going to be hurt, and I want to tell you how just very briefly, and then I will yield back after that.

We have found out in this bill that if an employer offers health insurance to their employee who, let's say, is the husband in the home, and he offers health insurance to that husband, the employer doesn't have to offer that insurance to the wife and the children.

He can fulfill his obligation to the Federal Government just by offering health insurance to the husband. Today the wife and children are also getting that health insurance. So once he makes that obligation, then the wife and children are on their own. But do you know what the wife and children have to do under the law? They have to buy the very expensive health insurance, not what they want, Mr. Speaker, but what the government tells them they're forced to buy.
How are they going to buy that health insurance? Well, we're told, gee, they can go to a health care exchange. No, they can't. They can't go to a health care exchange because the health care exchange subsidies won't be available to the wife and children because the husband is covered. Isn't that a sneaky deal to pull on American women and on their children.

Now, what about if that wife, let's say, lost her job, as Dr. Burgess said, because now we're seeing people who were working over 30 hours a week pulled down to 29 hours a week. So let's say the woman, the mom, lost her job and she's on unemployment. If you're on unemployment, are you relieved of the burden? This mom, is she relieved of the burden of paying the tax for health insurance? No. So she has to continue to pay a health insurance tax. While she is on unemployment, she can't go to the State-subsidized exchanges and get her health insurance.

What's her option, Mr. Speaker? She has to take her aftertax income, which is much reduced because she first has to pay taxes on that income, and then she has to go out and buy health insurance without any government subsidy in the market. Well, isn't this interesting. Government tells her what policy she has to get.

The cheapest policy, under the bronze plan, under these subsidies, is $20,000 a year. So where, tell me, Mr. Speaker, and I should ask the President of the United States, who came up with this brilliant idea, where, Mr. Speaker, where are poor women supposed to go to buy health insurance they can afford? Not in the ObamaCare regime. Where is she supposed to go with her very sick child who's lost his health insurance from the employer, that his daddy provided for him because his daddy had a job, his daddy had health insurance. That young child had health insurance. That child was very sick with a disease, and he could count on insurance because his daddy had a job. His daddy provided health insurance. But now under ObamaCare, that employer may no longer give that health insurance.

So I'm telling you, Mr. Speaker, this is devastating for moms across America, for children across America, for senior citizens across America. I wish it wasn't so. I wish we were standing here with a better story. The fact is, we tried.

Dr. Harris is on this floor. We now have been joined by Dr. Roe from Tennessee. We have three doctors here in this Chamber. He tried to provide better health care for the people in Tennessee and the people in America. Dr. Burgess has tried all over this country to say there's a better way. We can get more women and children covered. We can make sure more seniors are covered. We can do this thing. Preexisting conditions, we can solve it. But no, that wasn't good enough for our

President. It wasn't good enough.

You see, what he demanded and insisted upon was that the government have 100 percent control over health care. One hundred percent control? The American people lose control? What did they get? They get health care, health insurance, I should say, that's more expense than anything they've ever paid for before, and they get less for it. Well, what a deal, Mr. Speaker. What a deal. The American people, especially vulnerable women, vulnerable children, vulnerable senior citizens, now get to pay more and they get less.

That's why we're here, because we're saying let's repeal this failure before it literally kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens. Let's not do that. Let's love people. Let's care about people. Let's repeal it now while we can, and instead, do what Dr. Burgess has been trying to do for years, what Dr. Roe has been trying to do for years, what Dr. Harris has been trying to do for years: get the highest possible quality health care to the greatest number of American citizens at the lowest possible price, especially to vulnerable women and vulnerable children and vulnerable senior citizens.

As people of faith--I'm a born again believer in Jesus Christ, and I believe that as part of my duty as a believer in Christ and what He has done for me, that we should do for the least of those who are in our midst. That's my personal belief and my personal conviction, and that's why I want our government to create the space so that we can help people. Because I guarantee you one thing, Mr. Speaker: this doesn't help people. But the good thing is, Dr. Burgess, we can. And that's why I want to thank you for your leadership in the Health Care Caucus. I want to thank Dr. Harris for his leadership in the Health Care Caucus, and I want to thank Dr. Roe for his leadership in the Health Care Caucus, and all of the other doctors and all of the other Members who were busy waving a big red flag before ObamaCare passed, because don't anyone ever forget: this was not a bipartisan effort. This was President Obama. This was the Democrat-led Senate and the Democrat-led House. This was one party that gave us this terrible bill.

Now let it be both parties that come together to help women, help children, and help senior citizens. And God bless you for what you're doing. Thank you so much, Dr. Burgess.

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Mrs. BACHMANN. Dr. Burgess, thank you so much.

I just wanted to add this point to the whole debate that we're having today,
that the unintended consequence of all of this is that we've now created a class system in America for health care. We can't overstate this enough. Before, we just had health care in America, and you tried to find the best doctor and you tried to find the best possible care. But now what ObamaCare creates is this: it's a class-based health care system where we segment patients into three different classes.

Here's one. Here's the one that no American wants to be in. It's the Medicaid ghetto. That's where the lowest possible care, where very few doctors will be available to offer this kind of care, the Medicaid ghetto. Then there's going to be the socialized medicine in the exchanges. Then, finally, there's going to be concierge care for those who are going to be at the top of the heap.

So it won't be the same type of medicine that's available for everyone. We will have different class systems in health care. And guess who's going to get hurt the most? You're exactly right--senior citizens, women, and children. I want to explain just briefly how that will be.

You see, 56 percent of the people that are unhealthy today in America are in households that make less than 133 percent of the poverty level. So if you're sick, you're in a lower-income household, and without employer coverage--and employers, as was stated before by Dr. Gingrey, about 7 million people are going to be thrown off their very good coverage they have now. Over half of our unhealthy citizens will be stuck in Medicaid, and that doesn't provide adequate access. I can tell you from my State of Minnesota, people who are on that scale have to go from rural Minnesota, maybe travel a couple hundred miles to the Twin Cities--which they can't--to find anyone who will offer them the care they need.

Here's the other thing: About 2.5 times as many women than men get their coverage through their husband's coverage. For all of these people who are going to lose their employer-sponsored health coverage, it's more likely to have 2 1/2 times more women. If they're unemployed and out of the labor force, they're in trouble; they're up a creek without a paddle. Because the problem here is going to be that women and children are in jeopardy of not having an option. Even if they make 400 percent more than the poverty line--which really sounds like a lot of money--you're not going to have the availability of getting on the health care exchange. You may not even get in the Medicaid ghetto. So, in other words, you have to pay the tax--which they call a fee--you have to pay the big tax as a woman and as a mother of these children, but you're not getting any health insurance for it.

It is a bad deal, and that's why I thank you, Dr. Burgess, for what you've done.

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Ms. BACHMANN. That's right. So, Mr. Speaker, it's the worst of all worlds. Your husband is having to pay for this very expensive insurance for himself, and the employer may be having a match on that, but you're out in the cold, your kids are out in the cold, and you're paying a tax on top of it to add insult to injury. Women are going to suffer, children are going to suffer, and seniors are going to suffer.

Mr. Speaker, there are going to be people who die because of this. In this body, let it be said today that we don't want to see anyone die or anyone hurt or anyone denied. That's exactly what this bill is going to do, which is why we have to repeal it.

The day after this bill was passed, I introduced a bill to repeal, and every single one of the Republicans in this House has voted to repeal ObamaCare. Now, hopefully, we're going to have another vote again soon because we love people, we care about people, and we want them to have the health care they need.

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