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The Democrats' Health Care Plan: We Simply Cannot Afford It

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

The Democrats' Health Care Plan: We Simply Cannot Afford It

Mr. DUNCAN. Mr. Speaker, Robert Samuelson is a long-time economics columnist for The Washington Post. He is considered to be a very middle-of-the-road writer, neither liberal nor conservative.

In yesterday's Post, he wrote a column entitled, ``Public Plan Mirage.'' Mr. Samuelson wrote that the public option ``is mostly an exercise in political avoidance: It pretends to control costs and improve access to quality care when it doesn't.''

He wrote that it is a mirage because it uses ``free market rhetoric to expand government power'' and added that the public plan ``would probably doom today's private insurance.''

The so-called opt-out provision is a mirage, too, because it does not allow people to opt out of paying for the program. No State could really opt out, because its citizens would then be paying medical bills for people in other States without receiving any benefits in return.

Medicare and Medicaid have both cost about 10 times more than was predicted. This new health care plan will also cost many times more than is predicted now. We simply cannot afford it.

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