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Public Statements

Affordable Health Care For America Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. KIND. Mr. Speaker, let's be clear. We really face three choices here tonight: our plan, their plan, and the consequences of doing nothing.

But we know what inaction will bring already. We will pay more, we will get less, and we will bankrupt ourselves as a Nation due to rising health care costs. So let's just take a moment and compare the two plans before us this evening.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, not only is our health care reform plan completely paid for, but we reduce the national deficit by $109 billion in the first 10 years alone; they by only $68 billion. We cover an additional 36 million uninsured Americans in this country; they increase the number of uninsured from 47 million today to over 52 million by 2019. We cover 96 percent of Americans under our plan; they, 83 percent. We give small businesses tax credits to use in the national exchange to make it more affordable for them; they do nothing. We ban the discrimination based on preexisting conditions; they do nothing. We close the doughnut hole for seniors in Medicare; they do nothing.

But, most importantly, they do nothing to reform how health care is delivered and how we pay for it in this country. We change the fee-for-service payment under Medicare, which is all volume based, to a reimbursement system that rewards quality and the value of care. Why is this important? Because studies show that we are spending over $800 billion every year on tests and procedures that don't work. They don't improve patient care, and because of overtreatment in too many instances, we're making patients worse off rather than better off.

Our payment reform plan has the best potential of increasing the quality of care for all Americans at a substantially lower price. They do nothing.

Mr. Speaker, just 2 months ago President Obama stood in this Chamber and reminded us what the true character of the American spirit is all about. He reminded us that we did not come here to fear our future, but to shape it. That is the historic opportunity that we have before us this evening.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.

Mr. RANGEL. I yield the gentleman an additional 30 seconds.

Mr. KIND. I thank the gentleman.

I ask my colleagues to support true reform and provide all Americans with access to affordable and quality care that they all deserve.


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