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Public Statements

Health Care Reform

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. BACHMANN. I thank you to the gentleman from Iowa. He has done a wonderful job explaining the context of the health care debate that we are in today. We also have a neighbor to the south joining us as well, Louie Gohmert from Texas, and he has a lot that he wants to add to this debate.

I just wanted to focus for context purposes, to begin with, on what the President has demonstrated thus far that his understanding of economics has been when he had been in the United States Senate. He was an advocate for the $700 billion bailout of the banks and the financial meltdown. All through the 1990s and then in the early 2000s, there were continual bailouts that occurred. This was nothing new. This is yet one more bailout. They didn't work before.

What they did is they laid the groundwork, the moral hazard, if you will, for the same players, the same investment banking houses on Wall Street to make very bad bets because they knew the chump would be Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam would come along and pick up the pieces if they made mistakes.

What did they care. They rolled the dice. They took the risk. They risked their investors' money. And, when the deals went south, they came crawling back to Uncle Sam here in D.C., and Uncle Sam said, Sure, I will bail you out. That history was available for everyone to see.

Then-Senator Barack Obama should have known about those deals. After all, he served as a lawyer for Project Vote, Project Vote being an affiliate for ACORN, and ACORN was the organization pushing for all the relaxed lending standards that led to all of the toxic mortgages with the subprime loans that led to the mortgage-backed securities that were bad, that were starting to fail. And he was also a part of that effort suing, suing and threatening to sue so that banks and financial companies would relax their standards and make loans to people with no income, no assets, no jobs. The President had that in his background.

After that, he decided when he became President to deal with the financial crisis. Rather than tightening up those lending standards, he wanted to spend $1 trillion. And he came here and he told all of us in the United States Congress we had to spend $1 trillion, because if we wouldn't, unemployment could go as high as 9 percent or 8 percent. I think he said it could go as high as 8 percent.

Mr. KING of Iowa. 8.5 is the number I remember.

Mrs. BACHMANN. 8.5 percent, it could go that high. So that is what the $1 trillion was supposed to do.

The $1 trillion was allocated. We saw unemployment soar above 8 percent, soar above 8.5, and now Americans are sitting at about a permanent level of near 10 percent. The White House came out and said, Get used to it. This is our new normal. We are looking at these elevated levels of high unemployment.

Well, America isn't used to this, Mr. Speaker. American people don't want to be used to these elevated levels of unemployment. They actually like to work, and they actually like high prosperity.

Also, when President Obama was a Senator, he wanted to devote our entire U.S. budget--he wanted to devote 1 percent or 1.5 percent of our U.S. budget to redistribute wealth to the rest of the world. Knowing that our country was already trillions of dollars in debt, his goal was to have us, every year, devote at least 1 percent of the U.S. budget to redistribute the wealth. We should have known where President Obama was going with this. We can't say that we weren't warned.

Next, the President offered cap-and-tax or cap-and-trade. That is the government takeover of the energy industry. In other words, the government would take control of 8 percent of the private economy.

After that, he was proposing amnesty for illegal aliens, saying that that was something he wanted to do, but the people were pushing back.

So what did we see happen? We saw 30 percent of the private economy taken over by the Federal Government. In fact, Senator Obama wasn't even sworn in yet as President of the United States, and he was already pushing President Bush, You have to give me $17 billion, $19 billion for the automobile task force, because, guess what, GM and Chrysler, they might go bankrupt if we don't get $17 billion to $19 billion. We have got to prop these businesses up, or they are going to go bankrupt.

President Bush, he was going out the door, President Obama was going in, so he gave that money to President Obama to create the automobile task force.

What did we get out of that deal? We got Chrysler bankrupt. We saw the bondholders shafted, losing their equity interest. We saw the UAW come in and scoop up a big share of that company so that they got their retirement plans and their health insurance plans, not fully, but funded at the expense of the bondholders, and the United States Government now is a shareholder. The same with GM. It is Government Motors. We all know that story.

And we also know the other thing the automobile task force did. They put 150,000 people out of work, with what? Pink slips to 3,400 mostly viable dealerships across the Nation.

This is the level of economics that we were treated to just in the very first months of the Obama administration.

After all of that groundwork was laid, after banks were taken over, AIG, the largest insurance company, Freddie and Fannie, the secondary mortgage market, which today the Federal Government owns over 50 percent of all of America's mortgages. That, the student loan industry, Chrysler, GM, 30 percent.

What did President Obama propose? Not to lower costs in health care, as my colleague Steve King has suggested, by allowing people to buy across State lines. No. His suggestion was let's have the Federal Government take over 18 percent more of the private economy and put it under government's control. That is the solution.

And so here we are, on a Friday night. America has spoken. Three out of four Americans have weighed in and said, We don't want any part of the Federal Government taking over our private health care system. We don't want it.

The doctors have said that. Investors Business Daily, 45 percent of all doctors surveyed said they would leave the profession if the government takes over health care. New England Journal of Medicine this week, 35 percent of all doctors surveyed, We will leave the medical profession.

But no, no, no. What does Speaker Pelosi want to do? What does President Obama want to do? Ram this bill through. Pass it, without even the courtesy of the

Members of this body voting for the bill.

My name, Michele Bachmann, will not be listed in the journal with a ``yes'' or a ``no.'' Why? Because Speaker Pelosi, Mr. Speaker, wants to presume my vote. When she presumes my vote, Mr. Speaker, she has stripped the people of my district from their voice, because the people of my district made a choice, sent me here to vote on their behalf. And, Mr. Speaker, I will tell you with complete confidence, the overwhelming number of people in Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District want nothing to do with this government takeover of health care. They want nothing to do with it, because the more they have heard, the more fearful they become.

So let's call it for what it is, Mr. Speaker. This is pretty clear. This administration and this Congress wants to have the Federal Government take over private industry, because if they win on Sunday, the American people lose. If they win, they will have taken over, effectively, one half of the American economy from September of 2008 until March 20, 2010. We are talking less than 2 years, something like 18 months time. This is stunning. This is a coup, if you will, an economic coup of our free market system, half of it being taken over.

Mr. Speaker, someone came in, it almost feels like, in the middle of the night and has stolen away America's future and America's promise. That is why we are here tonight. There is no exit strategy out of this.

And then we learned that the IRS will be the enforcement agency for this new health care system. It will be up to the IRS to verify, on a monthly basis, that 300 million Americans have purchased insurance that is acceptable, not to the Americans, acceptable to government. Because every American, Mr. Speaker, all 300 million Americans are forced to purchase a product or a service that they may not want. But government wants them to have it, so they are forced to buy it.

So who is the enforcer? Well, it is the IRS. Doesn't that make everyone feel great? About 16,500 new IRS employees are about to be employed at a cost of $10 billion, because they have got to breathe down the neck of every American every month to make sure that they have applied with government-approved health insurance. And, in order to do that, they have got to pry into private business. They have got to go into the books of every private business every month, find out how many employees that private business has, what the wages are that business is paying. All that information with the IRS, that is confidential taxpayer information, and now they will be sharing that with the Department of Health and Human Services.

And if the IRS, Mr. Speaker, discovers that an American has failed to purchase government-approved insurance, well, then that American is subject to a fine of $2,250 or 2 percent of their income. The same with the businesses. The businesses also will be subject to fines, penalties, interest.

I don't remember, Mr. Speaker, on the President's team and the Cabinet, all of the people that had tax problems who weren't paying taxes who repaid their taxes, I don't recall too many of them paying taxes, penalties, and interest. They just paid their tax liability.

But that is not good for the American people. They don't get that sweetheart deal. No, no, no, Mr. Speaker. The American people and American private industry, they are paying the interest and the penalties and the taxes.

The IRS, Mr. Speaker, in this scenario, has now become the collection agency for the insurance companies. President Obama has been saying the Republicans are sold out to the insurance companies. Well, Mr. Speaker, now we know the truth. Behind those closed doors, President Obama struck a deal with these insurance companies so that every American is mandated to buy their product, and now the IRS is the collection agency and will be the enforcer and will send about one-half trillion dollars to the insurance companies.

Mr. KING of Iowa. Will the gentlelady read from the poster?

Mrs. BACHMANN. And the poster says, as my colleague Steve King is pointing, ``Why does the Democrat bill subsidize health insurance companies?''

Here is the strong arm of the IRS shaking money out of the average American taxpayer and sending that money straight in to the insurance companies, which, by the way, we know will be collapsing, because ultimately that was the purpose. One of our colleagues in this body even said as much himself. He said this is a temporary step, because what they want is government to own it all.

Let's realize, Mr. Speaker, who are the hogs in this situation? Who are the pigs here? Who wants to soak up the people's money? It is the same culprit, Mr. Speaker. It is those who embrace Big Government. The big winner in the stimulus, the big winner in the TARP, the big winner in every bailout we have ever had, and the big winner in this health care bill is Big Government.

And, as my colleague shows, the loser in all of this is the forgotten man of the American taxpayer, the American worker, the American boy and girl who may not grow up to realize their American Dream of a better life than their parents. The biggest loser again, Mr. Speaker, is the forgotten man of the senior citizen who will have to potentially go without with their Medicare funding.

Well, not if we have anything to say about it, Mr. Speaker. Not if we have another breath in our body will this happen.

And so we are here. We are here, because this is all we can do, to fight until our last breath to make sure that this monstrosity does not make it over the finish line.


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