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National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2010

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC




Mr. DeMINT. Madam President, I know we are debating the Defense Authorization bill and a myriad of other things we are sticking into the bill. Nationally, Americans are focused on health care and what the President and the majority are trying to push through in a mad rush that we seem to have been in all year long under this guise of crisis. It is pretty amazing in that the legislation we are talking about would not take effect for several years, so it is incredible we are being told we need to pass this in the next couple of weeks before we go home in August.

The last time the President made grand promises and demanded passage of a bill before it could be reviewed or even read, we ended up with the colossal stimulus failure and unemployment near 10 percent. Now we are being told they misread the economy. But we were urged to pass this within a day or two because we had to do it in order to keep unemployment below 8 percent.

Now the President wants Americans to trust him again but he cannot back up the utopian promises he is making about a government takeover of health care. He insists his health care plan will not add to our Nation's deficit, despite the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office saying exactly the opposite.

Today we learned that the President is refusing to release a critical report on the state of our economy which contains facts essential to this debate. What is he hiding? If the actual legislation came close to matching the President's rhetoric, he would have no problem passing this bill, with huge Democratic majorities in both Chambers. But Americans are not being fooled and we are discovering the truth about his plan, which includes rationed care, trillions in new costs and high taxes, and penalties which will destroy jobs, and even government-funded abortion.

In addition, we are looking at a deficit increased by hundreds of billions of dollars and billions in new taxes on small businesses. It could destroy over 4 million more jobs, according to a model by the President's own chief economic adviser, and it could force 114 million Americans to lose their health care, according to a nonpartisan group.

Let's be clear. There is no one in this debate advocating that we do nothing, despite the President's constant straw man arguments. Republicans have offered comprehensive health care reform solutions that cover millions of the uninsured without exploding costs, raising taxes, and rationing care. Since I have been in Congress, we have introduced a number of proposals that would help the uninsured buy their own policies.

We have introduced bills that would allow them to deduct it from their taxes just as businesses do, but our Democratic colleagues have killed it. We have introduced legislation that would allow Americans to buy health insurance anywhere in the country, to make it more competitive and more affordable, but the Democrats have killed it. We have introduced legislation that would allow Americans to use money in their health savings accounts to pay for an insurance premium, but the Democrats have killed it. We have introduced legislation that would stop all these frivolous and wasteful lawsuits that cause the cost of medicine to go up, but the Democrats have killed it. We have introduced association health plans that would allow small businesses to come together so they could buy policies less expensively, but the Democrats have killed it. Now they want to come back and say the government needs to take over health care.

It makes absolutely no sense at all. We can give every American access to affordable health insurance plans if we get out of the way and allow the market to work.

This is no time to rush into another government takeover of another part of the American economy, spending billions of dollars we do not have and raising taxes on the small businesses that create jobs.

There are good solutions. I introduced one a couple of weeks ago that
would give people fair treatment. If you do not get your insurance at work or you are unemployed, we will give you $5,000 a year to buy health insurance. That is fair treatment. It is the same basic benefit we give people who get insurance at work, good insurance that does not cost any more money.

I would encourage the President to stop the rhetoric, let us take some time for debate, let's reform health care in a way that makes it possible for every American to have a health insurance plan they can afford and own and keep. We do not need the government to take it over.

I yield for the Senator from Texas.


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