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Government-Run Health Care Will Lead To Rationing

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Speaker, right now Americans all across the country are dealing with this tough economy, many by tightening their belts and by managing their family budgets. Unfortunately, they are looking to Washington, and they are seeing this Congress that is being run by people that don't get what the American people are dealing with across the country.

Spending is out of control here in Washington by this administration and by this Congress. Look at the proposals that we are debating today. Health care in America needs reforms. But with all of the problems that exist, we still have some of the best medical care in the world. In fact, people that live in countries that have a government-run plan and who have the means, come to America to get care because in those countries, government takeover of health care has led directly to rationing of care. And so what are we facing today? We are facing a plan by the President, Speaker Pelosi and others here to have a government takeover of America's health care system.

When you read this bill, and you hear all of this great rhetoric, you hear the
President saying that if you like the plan you have, you can keep it. The problem is, the bill doesn't allow you to keep your health care plan. There is actually a section in their government takeover that allows a health care czar, some bureaucrat in Washington that was never elected to anything, to be able to take away your health care if they don't think that it complies with these new Federal requirements. So if you like what you have, this health care czar can take it away from you.

In fact, if you're uninsured--and all we hear about is the uninsured and that we need to address the problem of the uninsured, and I agree. The thing is when you really break down the numbers and when you look at who is really uninsured, you get to a number of about 7 million people. Once you strip away the illegal aliens and you take away the people who choose not to get health care who are currently eligible, you end up with 7 million Americans. That is a number we can address without blowing up all of the things that work for over 300 million Americans.

But in their plan, they actually tax some of those very people that are uninsured.

The Congressional Budget Office just gave testimony last week. Unfortunately the chairman of the committee threw the public out of the meeting. It was a secretive meeting that they wouldn't even allow the public to come into. I guess after they heard the testimony, you can see why, because the testimony said, number one, that the costs in this bill are out of control. All of the savings that we heard, that were promised, don't even exist. That's the Congressional Budget Office's testimony.

But then they talked about the taxes, over $580 billion in new taxes on businesses in their health care bill. There's over $240 billion of penalties that would be applied to American families that maybe don't go along with this new government takeover of health care. There's $29 billion of taxes on uninsured people in their bill. The Congressional Budget Office gave the specific testimony that this bill, this government takeover of health care, adds $29 billion in new taxes on the backs of uninsured Americans. And this is as they're running around saying that they want to help uninsured Americans. I know a lot of uninsured Americans out there that don't think $29 billion of new taxes on their backs is the kind of help that they want. When you look at this bill, you start to realize that what they're doing, what they're proposing, is the very government takeover where rationing of care would exist, where a government bureaucrat can get in between the relationship of you and your doctor. It's the same thing that's happened in Canada, it's the same thing that's happened in England, where unfortunately just yesterday we saw the story of a 22-year-old who was denied lifesaving care, denied a transplant by this government bureaucracy that exists in England that rations care.

I serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee where this bill is currently being debated. We were in committee till 12:30 in the morning last night. We had an amendment that would have prohibited a Federal bureaucrat in Washington from interfering between the relationship of an American citizen and their doctor. That's the most sacrosanct relationship that should exist. Nobody should come between the relationship between you and your doctor. Yet they voted down that amendment. So clearly this is about rationing. Their proposal is not about reforming health care, because there's bipartisan agreement on the reforms that need to be made to address the real problems that exist in health care. What their bill is about is a government takeover. It's growing government more. It's adding more to the Federal deficit. Hundreds of billions of dollars by CBO testimony would be added to the Federal deficit, at a time when Americans are saying, Congress, Washington, control spending. Get a grip. People saw that the stimulus didn't work. There are no jobs.

This bill is a horrible idea. Government should not be taking over our health care system and interfering in the relationship between us and our doctor.


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