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Public Statements

Affordable Health Care For America Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, D.C.


Ms. LEE of California. Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus, I rise in strong support of this bill. Known historically as the conscience of the Congress, we recognize that it is our moral responsibility to pass this today.

I want to thank the gentleman and commend him and the other Chairs of the tri-committees as well as our leadership and our Speaker for bringing us to this point today.

The strong public option in this bill will provide our constituents with the choice and competition they want. It will help improve health equity and help eliminate health disparities, and this bill recognizes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It will help people who choose to keep their private plans by limiting annual rate increases by insurance companies.

Today's historic vote is another step forward in our quest for social justice. It really is about life and death, but it's not the end of the process. The Congressional Black Caucus will keep fighting until a final bill is on the President's desk.

Today, finally, health care will become a basic human right for all, rather than a privilege for the few. We all have been called today for such as this. Let us rise to the occasion and vote "yes'' on affordable health care for all.


Ms. LEE of California. Mr. Speaker, this amendment inserts the Federal Government further directly into the medical decisions that a woman makes with her doctor.

As a person of faith who was raised in the Catholic Church, I have the deepest respect for Mr. Stupak and Mr. Pitts. I know personally the moral dilemmas women face in making personal decisions about abortion, but I'll tell you one thing, I remember the days of back alley abortions, and this amendment takes us one step back to those dark days.

This amendment goes way beyond the Hyde amendment that denies Federal funds for abortion and attempts to dictate to women how to spend their own money. It is simply outrageous. It is outrageous.

It further places the religious views, mind you, of some into our public policy. Again, we're a democracy; we're not a theocracy. The separation of church and State requires us as legislators to never cross this line and it allows personal religious views to be personal. We should not, as Members of Congress, compromise this separation. And low-income women especially will be hurt by this amendment. Reject it.


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