Mr. INHOFE. A lot of people have forgotten the cost of this. I would like to go over a couple of things if it is all right with the Senator. First, I wonder if the same thing is happening in his State--which is to the south of Oklahoma--of Texas that is happening in my State of Oklahoma. We are just a week away from when people will have to start signing up for ObamaCare. I commend Senator Cruz for reminding the American people that this law doesn't have to be a new reality. It doesn't have to be that way. We can stop it. There are still lingering questions about exactly what this is all going to look like.
We do know this reform law, as they call it, continues to be expensive and overreaching. When it started out, it didn't sound too bad to the American people. It is estimated that the program will now cost as much as $2.4 trillion over the years.
As I have suggested to my friend from Texas, around here we know what $1 trillion is, but most people don't know what that means. It is hard to understand this as far as what is going on in America. It will cost $2.6 trillion over 10 years once this is fully implemented, assuming they are successful in doing it. The cost estimates have only continued to rise since the law was passed.
Most recently the administration asked for another $5.4 billion in discretionary funds next year for implementation. That is $5.4 billion in discretionary funds. Let's stop and think about that. One of the worst things about the Obama administration--and the Senator from Texas understands this since he is on the Senate Armed Services Committee--is how this President has been disarming America. The discretionary money that would be coming out of this is money that otherwise could be used for our systems and to support our warfighters over there. That is just the cost of the Federal Government. It doesn't include the lost hours, wages, and employees who have lost their jobs and the cost it will be to their families.
Everyone agrees the premiums will rise. In my home State of Oklahoma we have a guy named John Doak. After talking to the insurance companies, he said Oklahomans' insurance will increase by a minimum of 30 percent and up to 100 percent. He also said that one in four insurers in Oklahoma will have their rates vary from $143 a month for a 30-year-old with basic coverage to $673 a month for a 64-year-old who wants the best coverage.
Remember, the President promised to lower the premiums by $2,500. What I want to do, if I could, is share a little bit of good news. I know the Senator from Texas is aware of it, but I don't know how many other people are aware of this. We have a great attorney general in the State of Oklahoma whose name is Scott Pruitt. I suspect the Senator from Texas has met Scott Pruitt. Before we voted on this issue, we had a question on whether some of these subsidies would go any further. Scott Pruitt, through the courts, filed a lawsuit and is leading the charge to dismantle ObamaCare and put an end to it.
Last month the judge overseeing the lawsuit ruled against a motion filed by the Obama administration to dismiss the case, which means the case will proceed. That is huge. If this goes through, this whole thing will be dismantled. That is why we need to go ahead and fight this as best we can, recognizing that there are other areas where the American people are speaking. Certainly Scott Pruitt is doing great things.
I heard the Senator mention Congressman Louie Gohmert. Congressman Gohmert is a very close friend of mine. We have been together on a lot of things. I was visiting with him. He is in the Chamber right now and would like to share some of the things that are happening in his district, which is eastern Texas.
These are some of the letters that he gets from constituents. This says:
To get setup on the software was too expensive. She also didn't want to be limited on the time she felt she needed to spend with her patients. Therefore, she stopped taking Medicare. Had to go on strictly cash basis.
This text says:
My wife's doctor has just retired because he did not want to deal with ObamaCare.
This is a letter that came from someone whose name is Katy Smith. She goes through quite a bit, and then says:
The explanation from IBM was that they ``projected that health care costs under the current IBM Medicare-eligible retiree plan options will nearly triple by 2020.''
This is another letter from Riverside Cottages. I guess that is someplace in eastern Texas.
We were notified July 15, 2013 that my husband's insurance coverage, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana/Montana Comprehensive Health Association will terminate December 31, 2013. When my husband contacted Blue Cross Blue Shield, they told him that this policy will no longer exist due to Obama Care. He will need to find new coverage.
And it goes on and on.
The interesting thing--and the reason I am reading Texas letters right now--is that we receive a lot of them, and they are up in my office someplace. So this hits home and hits home hard.
I ask my friend from Texas if he has received a lot of these anecdotal letters from people who are suffering serious hardships and are now anticipating what will happen when this becomes a reality?
Mr. CRUZ. I thank my friend from Oklahoma for his excellent question. Let me say from the outset that I am grateful for Senator Inhofe's leadership and his courage. From the outset Senator Inhofe has been with me on this fight, fighting to defund ObamaCare.
I want to also note that Senator Inhofe, like some of the other Senators who have come to the floor of the Senate this afternoon--including Senator Roberts, Senator Sessions, and Senator Enzi--are respected veterans of this institution. They are leaders who have earned the respect of their colleagues.
I am grateful for Senator Inhofe being willing to stand up and be a leader in this fight. That courage is contagious. I hope it will continue to be even more contagious in the Republican Congress. I hope by the time we come to the cloture vote on Saturday that we see all 46 Republicans united in voting against shutting off the debate and against allowing majority leader Harry Reid the ability to fund ObamaCare with a straight 51 party vote.
Mr. INHOFE. Before that happens, I think it is important that the people of this country have to know what this is all about. This is socialized medicine. A lot of them didn't believe that. Last week majority leader Harry Reid was on the PBS ``Nevada Week in Review.'' He was asked whether his goal was to move ObamaCare to a single-payer system. His answer was: Yes, yes. Absolutely yes. Do a lot of the people know what a single-payer system is? That is essentially socialized medicine.
I was around during the Clinton administration when there was a thing called Hillary health care. Does my friend from Texas remember Hillary health care?
Mr. CRUZ. I do indeed. I remember in particular at the time the press and all of the graybeards in Washington at the time saying that Hillary Care was unstoppable. It can't stop it. Republicans need to get together.
If the Senator from Oklahoma will recall, initially the response was described as like Hillary care lite. Back then in the midst of the Hillary care fight there were a few courageous leaders in the House who stood up against Hillary Care. What changed that battle was the American people rising. At the end of the day, it is the only thing that can win any fights.
Mr. INHOFE. That is exactly what did happen. I can remember going from Washington to my hometown of Tulsa. Normally I have to go through Chicago. Chicago is where the AMA has their headquarters, and it is probably still there. I will always remember this. I was rejoicing. I was coming back after the long fight against Hillary health care or socialized medicine. I remember saying the question on the Senate floor: Try to explain this to me: If socialized medicine doesn't work in Great Britain, Sweden, or Canada, why would it work in this country? They never said it, but what they were thinking was: If I were running it, it would work. We got that point across.
They started way ahead with Hillary health care, and then we started to catch up. Just like now people are realizing this is a failed socialized medicine effort. We had won.
That kind of relates to what is happening today. I was on that plane going through Chicago to Tulsa, and I picked up the Wall Street Journal, and there was a full-page ad by the AMA supporting Hillary health care. Of course, when I stopped in Chicago, I went and visited the AMA. This is an organization that represents a lot of real smart doctors and others who were saying that we can't win. We can't win this and therefore let's go ahead with it. We had already won when they ran that ad. I don't know how many days before that they put the ad in, but nonetheless we had won.
I don't know if my friend remembers that because my friend was not in the Senate at that time. That is exactly what happened, and it is very analogous to a lot of things that are happening today.
The other thing I wanted to mention is that anytime desperation starts to set in, there are a lot of things that go around to confuse people. Let me tell everyone what happened in Oklahoma today. This will surprise my friend from Texas. There are 14 people who started this--the Senator from Texas, myself, and 12 other people about 6 weeks ago. During this time we have been in lockstep to see what we could do to stop this from happening to my 20 kids and grandkids and the rest of America.
People realized I was there from the very beginning, as the Senator from Texas mentioned, and yet we have some of the Obama people who are doing robocalls in my State of Oklahoma posing as tea party people and saying to call INHOFE because he is for ObamaCare.
I say to my good friend, I can't believe something like that is happening. It shows a level of desperation where they are trying to get people confused as to what the issue is and want to get to these deadlines so we can get past this and have this thing as a reality. Every liberal in America is probably for it.
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Mr. INHOFE. Of course. The Senator from Texas said if you don't have logic on your side or the facts on your side or the public on your side, what do you do? It is not just pounding the table. It is name-calling.
I went through this, I would suggest to my friend, 12 years ago when the Kyoto treaty was up and everyone thought global warming was coming and that was going to be everyone's trip to the White House to support global warming, until we realized what the cost would be. I was the bad guy because I stood and said: No, this isn't true. First of all, it is a hoax; and secondly, even if it is not, we couldn't do it. That is when all the name-calling started. I can remember being called--in writing and by a fairly prominent person--I should be hanged for treason at that time. That is what they get, and that is what my friend is going through right now with a lot of people who don't agree with him.
Twelve years later, what has happened? People realize I was right. I am not suggesting it is going to be 12 years before they realize the Senator from Texas is right on this, but it means the behavior of people today is something that has happened many times in the past.
So I would just ask my friend to remember that and to realize that quite often, when a person is right on a controversial issue, they are going to be the subject of a lot of criticism, a lot of cussing, a lot of name-calling, and a lot of violence. So this isn't the first time.
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