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Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

CHILDREN'S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - September 25, 2007)


Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, a couple of things: number one, we are not dedicating enough time to this debate. A half-hour is not enough time to debate what this is really all about. This is not just about health care, health insurance for low-income children. If that is all this was about, then we could pass this with 2 minutes of debate, unanimous consent, voice vote, everyone would agree.

That is not what this debate is about. This debate goes far beyond that, and the American people deserve to have a much more honest, much more thorough debate about what really is being discussed here.

This is a misleading bill. This is a misleading debate. This is misleading, number one, because this is really all about whether or not the Federal Government should run health care for most Americans or not.

All of us in this room, Republicans and Democrats, believe that Americans ought to have access to affordable health insurance. All Americans. We all believe that. The question is, should the government run it, or should health care be a decision between patients and their doctors? Let's have a debate about that.

The reason this is a misleading debate is because this bill takes more health insurance away from children with private insurance than it gives to children without insurance. We are taking more people off of private insurance than we are giving to uninsured children. If we wanted to just give uninsured children health insurance, let's do it.

This bill is misleading because it gives children health insurance for 5 years, and then it pushes them off a cliff. I call it the majority's ``bait and switch SCHIP funding.'' It says 5 million children get it now; 5 million children 6 months into 2012 get nothing. $41 billion is hidden out of this bill. Who believes that that is going to happen? In order to contort their way into their PAYGO rule, they are giving on the one hand and taking out with the other.

But what this debate is really about is putting the government in the middle of that decision between the patient and their doctor. I don't want a bureaucrat running health care. I don't want an HMO bureaucrat running health care, and I don't want a government bureaucrat running health care. I want patients running health care with their doctors.

That is what this debate is really about. This debate is about getting more and more and more government in the middle of the health care decisions between patients and their doctors. This is a debate about getting us on that path toward government-run health care. That is a big debate. It deserves more than a half-hour of debate.

And, unfortunately, the majority is misleading the American people by saying this is only about low-income children, when they are bringing us a bill that displaces kids off of private health insurance, goes to virtually to anybody of any income if a State wants to, and goes way beyond the idea of insuring low-income children.

Let's give low-income children health insurance, and let's have a big debate on whether the government ought to be running health care in America or not.


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