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Public Statements

Health Care Reform

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Dr. Gingrey, thank you so much for yielding tonight, and I appreciate the opportunity to come here to try to help our colleagues and hopefully the American public to understand what we are dealing with with this PelosiCare bill. And what is apparent thus far, since it has just been out, I can't say for certain, but it is apparent within the Senate bill, the ReidCare bill, of where we are going as a Nation.

The American people need to understand something very clearly, and that is there is going to be rationing of care, as Dr. Gingrey was just talking about, and we are already seeing the beginning of this.

Mr. Speaker, over the August break, I went up to Canada and I talked to Canadian patients. I actually lived in Canada many, many years ago for a short period of time. I didn't talk to doctors, but I talked to Canadian patients, since we hear our Democratic colleagues holding that up as the kind of model we need to go to.

Mr. Speaker, the American people need to understand very clearly that the Canadians have marked rationing of care. I talked to women in their forties and fifties who never, ever have been told that they needed a pap smear and never have had one. What Dr. Gingrey was just saying, Mr. Speaker, about this recommendation that women not have mammograms until they are after 50 years of age, I have seen patients in my own medical practice in their thirties who have been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. In fact, I had one lady 29 years of age in my own practice who found a lump in her breast. She came to me, she got a mammogram and went to surgery and was found to have breast cancer at 29 years of age.

Mr. Speaker, this is the beginning of the process of rationing of care that we already see the Federal Government doing just in anticipation, in my belief, of what the PelosiCare, the ReidCare, the ObamaCare bill is going to do. You see, the Democratic Party's health care reform plans which have been introduced in the House and the Senate will allow you to have anything that you want as long as the boss would allow you to do it. Boss Hogg is going to determine whether a patient can have a mammogram, as we already see in the Federal Government saying we need to stop these mammograms for patients that desperately need them from a medical perspective.

Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. If I understand the gentleman correctly, Mr. Speaker, the gentleman is holding a poster. That poster is a representation of this health choices administrator in this new bill, this H.R. 3962 which has already passed this House, and it also could be representative of the U.S. Services Task Force. And I want to yield back to the gentleman from Athens, Georgia, and I want us all to focus in just for a minute on Boss Hogg, because I think it is a great characterization of what we are trying to point out here.

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. This comparative effectiveness panel that is going to be set up in Washington, D.C., they are going to look at how to spend dollars. They are going to use age and dollars on how to make health care decisions, which means that senior citizens are going to be denied care because they are going to determine that it is not effective to spend dollars on seniors' care as opposed to spending it for young people's care. So this mammogram recommendation is just the harbinger of where we are going.

One other thing, Mr. Speaker, that the American people need to understand is that not only Boss Hogg is going to tell them whether they can have surgery, whether they can have a mammogram, whether they can have a pap smear, whether they can have lab tests, MRIs, CAT scans, but Boss Hogg and another group is going to tell the American people what their health insurance looks like.

So we have heard the President over and over say that if you like your current health insurance policy, you can keep it. That is a bald-faced lie. It is not true, because the health care czar panel is going to dictate every single health care policy in this country. Not only in the public exchange, but also everybody's private insurance in this country is going to be dictated by Boss Hogg, the health care czar panel in Washington, D.C.

They are going to say whether that insurance will pay for insurance coverage for those mammograms, and they are going to use this recommendation that just came out this week to deny women under the age of 50 of being able to get those mammograms that their doctor thinks that they need and that they think that they need. There are medical indications for those mammograms, but Boss Hogg is going to say ``no'' because it does not fit within the parameters of the insurance that the Boss Hogg health care czar panel is going to put into place.

Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. I thank Dr. Broun for that point.

As we continue this colloquy, Mr. Speaker, Boss Hogg could also restrict other screening procedures. It is probably never going to be proven that screening, mass screening for many different diseases is going to be cost effective, but it is going to save lives. You ask yourself, if we are going to get to the point where Boss Hogg or the health choices administrator or the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force or the Comparative Effectiveness Research Council decides that something is not going to be cost effective, as Dr. Broun points out occurs in Canada. And he has some experience. He lived there. We know it occurs in the U.K. They have a group, an oversight entity that goes by the nice acronym of NICE, N-I-C-E, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, but it is a rationing body that decides what can and cannot be done.

Indeed, talking about breast cancer, Dr. Broun, the survival rate, the 5-year survival rate for breast cancer in the U.K. is something like 15 points lower than it is in the United States, and it is simply because they are denied these routine screening procedures.

The point I also wanted to make in regard to other things, how many children, how many young children have to be screened with a blood test for sickle cell anemia before you find one? How many young children in preschool have to have a hearing examination before you find one that is hearing impaired, or vision screening before you find one that is visually impaired? How do you put a dollar value on these kinds of things, Mr. Speaker? You cannot do it. And if you start trying to do it, then you ration everything and it becomes a matter of what is a person's life worth, whether it is at the beginning or the end.

I yield to my colleague.

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. I thank you, Dr. Gingrey, for yielding.

Carrying down that same road that you were talking about, I have practiced almost four decades as a family doctor. I have done colonoscopies and sigmoidoscopies. We do routine digital rectal examinations on patients for prostate cancer. We do PSAs routinely in screening. We do cholesterol screening and blood sugars and hemoglobins and all of these different tests that the American people wouldn't understand unless they have those diseases or have studied those things.

But you're exactly right, Dr. Gingrey. The screening for, for instance, colon cancer, we do a lot of checking stools for blood, doing flexible sigmoidoscopies even colonoscopies for colon cancers. Frequently even at colonoscopies we take out polyps that could turn out to be cancer if they're not removed.

This cost-effectiveness panel, Boss Hogg, very probably is going to cut off all that screening. And you're going to have more people get prostrate cancer, more people get colon cancer, more people get breast cancer, more ladies get cervical cancer because those screening tests that Dr. Gingrey is talking about, Mr. Speaker, very probably are going to be cut off and denied to patients because they have to stop paying for all these tests because of the comparative effectiveness. Particularly when you look at it, young people from old people compared to how you spend your dollars, we're going to have tremendous rationing of care.

So everybody in this country is going to have their insurance dictated by Boss Hogg, the Federal Government. Everybody is going to have their care dictated by Boss Hogg, the Federal Government. Everybody in this country is going to have a Federal bureaucrat standing between them and their doctor. It's not right and the American people need to stand up and say ``no'' to the ReidCare bill. They need to say ``no'' to the PelosiCare bill, no to ObamaCare. And let's lower the prices for everybody.

Republicans have many, many bills that we've introduced. I have introduced one myself, H.R. 3389, which is a comprehensive bill. It does not add one nickel of increased spending to the Federal Government, and it puts the patient and doctor in charge of those health care decisions.

Dr. Gingrey, I appreciate your doing this Special Order, and I appreciate your bringing these very pertinent things to the attention of the American public by doing this Special Order. And I just applaud what you're doing here because in Hosea 4:6 God says, ``My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.'' And the American people are going to be destroyed for a lack of knowledge about what this PelosiCare bill is going to do or the ReidCare bill is going to do that Barack Obama is pushing down the road. We've got a steamroller of socialism that's going to cost jobs and destroy the quality of health care, and the American people need to stand up and say ``no.''

Thank you, Dr. Gingrey. I appreciate it.


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