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Affordable Health Care For America Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, D.C.

Affordable Health Care For America Act


Mr. LANCE. Mr. Speaker, this evening members of the U.S. House of Representatives are being asked to vote on legislation that dramatically revamps our Nation's health care system.

This 2,000-plus page, $1.3 trillion Democratic health care proposal is a measure that raises individual and business taxes and reduces funding for Medicare.

H.R. 3962 increases spending by more than $1 trillion at a time when our levels of debt and deficits are at all-time highs.

The bill imposes a 5.4 percent ``surtax'' on thousands of individuals and families in my congressional district during an economic recession and when New Jerseyeans are paying some of the highest federal, state and local property taxes in the country.

The health care bill levies at 2.5 percent tax on the Garden State's medical device industry that employs more than 300,000 in New Jersey alone at a time when New Jersey's unemployment rate is nearly 10 percent.

The measure ignores common-sense malpractice reforms while cutting Medicare by nearly $500 billion leading the Medical Society of New Jersey and its doctors and medical professionals to come out in opposition to H.R. 3962.

In short, this bill, If signed into law, will be harmful to New Jersey's taxpayers, seniors and businesses. As such, I rise in strong opposition to this measure.

But make no mistake--I support health care reform.

Like the majority of my colleagues I strongly support health care reform. But not the reform we will be voting on this evening.

I stand in support of common sense steps to broaden health care access and responsible solutions that address the rising cost of health care.

I believe reform ought to include portability--allowing people to keep their health insurance whether they change jobs or move to a different state. And no one should be denied coverage for preexisting conditions.

Yet the call for common sense health care reform should be one that our Nation can afford.

The Republican substitute offered by House Republican Leader JOHN BOEHNER is a fiscally responsible alternative health care reform measure that reduces costs and expands insurance coverage without raising taxes, rationing care or putting the government between patient and doctor.

The Republican reform bill includes medical liability reform that will seek to end junk lawsuits that force doctors to practice defensive medicine driving up health care costs.

The GOP alternative will allow families and businesses buy health insurance across state lines while also allowing individuals, small businesses and trade associations to pool together and purchase health insurance at lower prices.

It levies no taxes on New Jersey's medical device industry and includes important safety provisions concerning innovative biologic drugs by requiring research and clinical trials before the Food and Drug Administration can approve generic biologics.

To maximize safety, I believe that research and those clinical trials should be conducted within the United States. By creating this process for approval of innovative biologic drugs we protect the health and safety of patients, lower health care costs and provide adequate incentives for innovation to ensure that New Jersey continues to be the ``Medicine Chest of the World.''

These are ideas that have strong, bipartisan support but most are absent from the Democrats' new reform legislation.

Instead of focusing on fiscally responsible reforms that have bipartisan support, the Democratic Leadership has chosen a path that ignores good ideas from the Republican side of the aisle.

The Republican substitute is the only health care reform measure that improves what is working in our health care system and fixes what is broken in a fiscally responsible manner without raising taxes or increasing our ever-growing debt and deficit.

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