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Public Statements

Health Care Reform

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mrs. BACHMANN. I must have my cape on. To the stunning gentleman from Iowa, the great STEVE KING, I want to thank you for allowing me to be a part of this discussion that you're broaching. And you've done a wonderful job all week on different occasions talking about the true depth of this problem and the positive alternatives.

I appreciate the fact that you've tried to lay context about truly how many people are in need of insurance and how many people are without coverage. That's a very important part. We can't make true decisions unless we actually have the facts on the table. And I'm also extremely grateful that you're trying to give a positive alternative.

We're looking at a couple different options here to deal with health care. One would be President Obama's option, and the option that's been offered here in the House with essentially about a trillion dollars of spending on health care, and in the Senate, with something like $850 billion worth of health care from Senator Baucus that was just released.

Senator Baucus' plan so far has not engendered much

bipartisan support. I think there's a reason for that. It's because of the tremendous tax burden on the middle class of the Senate plan, and I'm sure we'll be talking about that as we go forward.

But here's a part of our positive solution. We can have one plan that will burden future American taxpayers with trillions of dollars in unfunded mandates, trillions of dollars of spending, borrowing, taxing, and that is a burden as we go forward when our country can least afford it. Or, we can take an alternative that would free up our economy and give free choices to the American people and not add to the burden of our Treasury.

It's very simply this: As my colleague STEVE KING of Iowa has said, we want freedom for the American people. We want the American people individually to own their own health care. Just like they own car insurance, just like they own their house insurance, we don't want the government to own their insurance policy. We don't want the government to call the shots or have control over people's health care decisions, or their employer. We want people to own it individually.

Then, next, we want people to have the freedom to band together with whomever they prefer, whether it's Realtors or teachers or farmers or maybe a community, like a credit union. You come together in a geographic area. You join together with whomever you want to buy or purchase a policy. So you have purchasing power.

Next, we want people to have freedom to buy any policy they want, anywhere they want in the country, from anyone they want to purchase the policy from. True choice in purchasing insurance.

Then, as my colleague STEVE KING said, we want people to be able to set aside in an account, whether it's $5,000 a year or $10,000 a year or $15,000 a year, tax free. In other words, you take that money out of your earnings or out of your savings and you put it tax free in an account up to a certain amount.

If you spend more than that account, then you can deduct those health care savings off of your income tax return. That would include eyeglasses, dental work, hearing aids, chiropractic care. Whatever your health care would be, you get to fully deduct that.

Finally, we want lawsuit reform so that we don't have unnecessary spending so that doctors can try to protect themselves from frivolous lawsuits.

These are very simple, commonsense solutions. And you notice not one of these solutions requires a vast infusion of Federal tax money. That's because it's called freedom. That's the American way. And that will solve about 95 percent of our health care problems.

Will we need a government supported safety net? Always. We will always have one because there will always be people who, through no fault of their own, have physical conditions that won't allow them to work, that won't allow them to be able to pay their premiums or pay for their health care. We can afford--and we must pay for those people. But for the vast, overwhelming majority of people we can make health care affordable. That's why the proposal that was just offered by Senator Baucus is so concerning on the Senate side.

Congressman STEVE KING has made an excellent case against the House measure, H.R. 3200, and he made an excellent case why this option is so expensive and so burdensome on the individual. The reason why the Senate plan is equally negative in our eyes is for this reason.

I take this out of the Wall Street Journal. It said: The centerpiece of the Obama-Baucus plan--because, remember, it was just a week ago here in this Chamber when President Obama essentially backed the Senator Baucus version of the health care plan.

But this is what the Wall Street Journal has to say today: The centerpiece of the Obama-Baucus plan is a decree that everyone purchase heavily regulated insurance policies or pay a penalty.

Now, imagine that. I don't even think this survives a test of constitutionality. The Federal Government would make the American people purchase a product or service that people don't want to buy, and the government would fine them and tax them with penalty of going to jail if they don't buy the product or service that the government tells them they have to buy.

Think of how incredible this is. The enforcement of this mandated, brute force health care policy would be enforced by the Internal Revenue Service. So we would be forced to buy services and products we don't want to buy at a cost we can't afford, and the Internal Revenue Service would be the enforcement mechanism.

This is not what the American people want to have, which is why the Republicans' positive alternative makes so much sense. You own it, you band together with anyone you want to purchase in any amount of policy from anyone you want, anywhere you want, with tax-free money or money that you deduct on your income tax policy, and then we have lawsuit reform.

I think it's a great alternative, and I yield back to the gentleman from Iowa.

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