Health Care Reform
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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Thank you, Dr. Fleming. I've listened to you talk about this economic game that they're playing. I call that zombie economics because you have to be a dead man walking around with no soul to believe the economic parameters and the games that the Democrats have played with CBO.
And people need to understand that when CBO, Congressional Budget Office, scores a bill, they can only score the bill according to the parameters that whoever writes that bill give them to score it on.
So all of these things where you're having double counting of money, it's just a good example of that zombie economics that the Democrats utilize and force CBO to use in scoring the bill so it doesn't look as bad as it really is going to be. And there is nothing about the marked cuts in doctors' reimbursement, how much the government under Medicaid, as well as Medicare, is going to be reimbursing the doctors.
And what's going to happen--and I think the American people need to understand this very firmly--they may give a government insurance policy card to people that they can stick in their pockets, but they're not going to be able to find a doctor that will accept that card and accept that insurance. So the American people need to understand that the access to a doctor is actually going to go down, in my opinion. And in fact, that card for many, many Americans is going to be as worthless as a Confederate dollar was after the War Between the States. It's going to be useless. We're going to have more people who have less access to doctors, less access to care, if ObamaCare is passed.
Another thing that policy after policy has shown is that the American people continue to overwhelmingly reject this government takeover of health care. Yet Speaker Pelosi has declared that a government takeover of health care should become the law of this land without even taking a vote on the bill. Well, that is unconstitutional.
I, as well as, I know, Dr. Gingrey, as I know Dr. Fleming, carry a copy of the Constitution. I believe in this document as it was intended by our Founding Fathers. We have absolutely no constitutional authority for the Federal Government to take over health care. None. We have no constitutional authority to even do this deem and pass Slaughter rule. Deem and pass. That sounds like an old western movie. Deem and pass. The only people who are going to be ambushed are the American taxpayers and small businesses in this country. That is exactly what's going to happen. Deem and pass is being set up by our Democratic colleagues who want to raid small business's coffers and people's coffers.
In fact, we've got a lot of taxes on small business. A lot of taxes on individuals. The Ways and Means Committee just today has put out a report on this bill. We hear from the President if you make $250,000 and above, you have to pay extra taxes for the bill. And anybody making less than $250,000 will not be taxed. But the Ways and Means Committee just today set out the parameters on the taxes. Half of the new individual mandate taxes will be paid by Americans earning less than $66,150 for a family of four. Let me say that again: half of the individual mandate taxes are going to fall on the shoulders--not of the rich people; I don't think a family of four making $66,000 a year is rich--but half of those individual mandate taxes are going to fall on the shoulders of families making $66,000 a year or less.
And also the IRS is going to be markedly expanded. And, in fact, it's going to be up to the IRS to get all of these new taxes.
And I have got a little slide here. Because the IRS is going to be running ObamaCare. The IRS agents in this country are going to verify whether you have acceptable health care coverage. Now, who determines what's acceptable health care coverage? Well, it's a panel here in Washington, D.C., that is going to mandate every single insurance policy in this country.
So if you have health insurance today and you like it? Forget it. Forget it. That is another distortion, something that is not true that's been touted by our Democratic colleagues.
And the IRS agents in this country are going to be prying into your health care insurance, into your life, to see if you have acceptable coverage.
Also, the IRS is going to have to hire new agents to do all of this new work that they're being given by ObamaCare: 16,500 new IRS agents. There are going to be more audits of people's income taxes because the IRS is going to be in charge of making sure that individuals have this acceptable health care coverage that is mandated by the Federal Government.
The IRS can even confiscate your tax refund. And the IRS can fine you up to $2,250 or 2 percent of your income, whichever is greater, if you don't have the minimal, essential coverage. Again, the Federal Government is going to determine what that minimal coverage is. So forget your current insurance policy. The Federal Government is going to mandate it.
Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. Will the gentleman yield for a minute?
Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Absolutely.
Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. I appreciate my colleague for yielding because the gentleman points out an accurate statement in regard to the expansion of the IRS because there absolutely would be those that would be going through with a fine-tooth comb every tax return. And we're not too far from that date where people, if they don't put down and verify that they have that health insurance policy--and the gentleman was probably going to say this, but I will go ahead and say this--not just that they have a health insurance policy, but the type of policy.
In other words, a young person, a young, healthy person who exercises and takes care of himself, doesn't smoke, doesn't drink, runs marathons, and so he wants a health insurance policy that he can afford. He is just out of high school or just out of college. He is paying back student loans, trying to buy a car, trying to save up to get an engagement ring for his fiancee, whatever, paying for an apartment, yet he wants to have coverage. He wants to have catastrophic coverage, but he can't afford first dollar coverage, so he buys these high deductible but very low monthly premium--probably one-fourth of what the IRS and this bill is going to demand that they have. If he doesn't have it, he is going to jail.
Mr. BROUN of Georgia. That's right.
Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. It's just unbelievable. And very quickly, before yielding back to my colleague, I want to say this.
If we were in charge, Mr. Speaker, I think the three of us on the floor right now, we would eliminate the IRS. We wouldn't add to them and add to that bureaucracy. We would get rid of the IRS and the Federal income tax, and we would replace that with a flat tax or a fair tax, a national retail sales tax that our colleague from Georgia, JOHN LINDER, has been such a strong proponent of.
Mr. BROUN of Georgia. I thank you for yielding back.
In fact, I want to point out something else that is going to happen with this bill the way it's set up. The tax-writing committee, the Ways and Means Committee, tells us an additional $10 billion is going to be needed to pay for this marked expansion of the Internal Revenue Service. And, Dr. Gingrey, I'm like you. I would like to totally get rid of the Internal Revenue Service. You and many people know I have been a very ardent supporter of the fair tax.
But it doesn't matter--well, it does matter how they get our taxes. The bottom line is that we have just got to stop this outrageous spending here in Washington, and we are going to increase spending of the Internal Revenue Service by $10 billion.
But something else the American people need to know is: Guess who has been left out? Guess who is not going to have all these mandates? Illegal aliens. That's what our Democratic colleagues have put in place. The illegal aliens in this country are going to get free taxpayer-funded health insurance, and they are not going to get all these fines. They are not going to be bothered by the Internal Revenue Service. It's just the American citizens and legal residents in this country that are going to be bothered by these folks.
Now, they are going to say, and I've heard them say over and over again, illegal aliens can't get free government health insurance, but Dr. Gingrey was in the Energy and Commerce Committee. Over and over again, Dr. Gingrey and many others fought to make sure that illegal aliens would not get free government health insurance by making the Federal Government verify the citizenship and the legal presence of these people here.
Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. If the gentleman would yield just for a second, he may want to yield back to Dr. Fleming who is controlling the time. It is our colleague from our great State of Georgia, Congressman NATHAN DEAL, the ranking member on the Health Subcommittee of Energy and Commerce where this bill, by the way, originated as H.R. 3200, Mr. Speaker. We all remember that. But it was Congressman Deal, Nathan Deal, 17 years, this is his 18th year, in fact, in this body, had the amendment to stop that, to make sure that people had to give adequate verification, just like they do for the Medicaid program in our States and the SCHIP program. It's called PeachCare in Georgia. It was Congressman NATHAN DEAL--who, by the way, I think is going to be the next Governor of Georgia--who very strongly advocated for that. But unfortunately, as all Republican amendments, if they get heard at all, they get voted down on straight party lines, good commonsense amendments.
Mr. BROUN of Georgia. I want to go to Congressman Deal, too. He has been fighting for a long time to stop this birthright citizenship here in this Nation, which is actually a ruling by the Federal court system. It is an improper ruling on the 14th Amendment. It's an unconstitutional, actually, ruling on the 14th Amendment that we're giving birthright citizenship to these children who are born to illegal aliens in this country, and they are going to go on the Medicaid system. And we're going to have a magnet, a magnet to draw more of those illegal aliens in this country because they are going to get free government health care because of this ObamaCare bill that we're going to be voting on just in the next day or two.
I just want to say before I yield back, Congressman NATHAN DEAL, I hope he is our next Governor, and he has been right on the front line fighting this illegal alien problem that we have in this country. He lives in Gainesville, Georgia, and he has seen them there in Hall County, Georgia, how it's been a tremendous drain on the local economy and the local government for goods and services and things. And so he has been an ardent, ardent fighter to try to make these illegal aliens, who are criminals, to go home. Now we are going to give them free health care.
And the American people need to just say ``no'' to our Democratic colleagues, because it's just going to be disastrous. We are going to have an influx of illegal aliens just to come and have those anchor babies to get on Medicaid. We've already seen that happening, and that is one reason NATHAN DEAL has been doing it.
I yield back to Dr. Fleming.
Mr. FLEMING. I thank the gentleman. I thank both gentlemen from Georgia for your comments and, again, your many years of experience as physicians.
I would like to change the topic slightly, and that is to talk about process for a moment. Now, what I would really describe, this situation is one in which, as this debate continued, Mr. Speaker, as this debate continued through the year, it began to lose momentum almost immediately. We began to see the polls. At first, it was 50/50. Half America wanted this health care reform but didn't know much about it, the other half really didn't want it.
As this debate has gone on and on and on and the news gets out, the acceptance of this has dropped. In fact, today it is at its lowest point that it's been. I think we are up to now 55 percent of Americans are against it and down in the 30s are actually for it. In fact, a CNN poll--and I'm sure that CNN wouldn't be considered as an extreme right-wing media outlet--shows that--they asked a question a little different way. What should we do with this bill? Seventy-five percent of Americans said either scrap it altogether and forget about it or start over again. And that's exactly where we are. We would like to start over again and pass commonsense reforms without the government takeover of health care.
Well, anyway, as this thing has been losing steam, it has caused more and more difficulty for the other side of the aisle to get things passed, vote after vote. And we saw that there was such a reaction across the country that our good friend, SCOTT BROWN, was elected to, believe it or not, Senator Kennedy's seat, something that no one could have imagined this time a year ago. And
while he is an excellent candidate, something else had to be in play there, and we know what it is, and that is health care. Also, through the process to get it through the Senate, even with the 60 votes that already were there, it took special deals. I will just name them real quickly.
The Louisiana purchase; $300 million to go to my State of Louisiana, which would seem ostensibly to be a good thing, but by signing this bill, the President would actually cause costs that would be far greater than the $300 million that we would receive. So the net result is money lost, not money gained.
The Nebraska kickback, which everyone has hated. And, in fact, what it is going to do is probably it will pass in this reconciliation, if it is passed, will actually extend the same benefit to all States which is going to drive up taxes and cost.
A $10 million earmark for a Connecticut hospital for CHRIS DODD, our Senator, and certainly Gator aid, where every State will lose its Medicare Advantage except for the State of Florida.
But if that wasn't enough, Mr. Speaker, now that we're in the House, we've got another situation. We're talking about reconciliation; that is, instead of sending it to the Senate in the final form and have it passed and get past the cloture rules over there, they want to slide it in under reconciliation, a mere 51 votes. But all of that being as bad as it is, now we're talking about the Slaughter solution.
And I will pitch back to my friend, Dr. Broun, for his comments.
Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Thank you, Dr. Fleming. I appreciate your yielding.
In fact, I've wondered, and I'm sure the American people are wondering, why is it that Democrats don't want to have a vote on a bill? Well, you're just telling them right now today in this Special Order why the Democrats don't want to have a vote on the bill--because they don't want to face the fact. They don't want to face the voters that they are doing all these special deals, sweetheart deals.
You didn't mention the ones in there for the unions on their Cadillac plans. The unions have just cut a special deal, too, with the administration, with the leadership here in Washington. But why wouldn't they want an up-or-down vote? We've heard the President say over and over again this should have an up-or-down vote.
Well, just today, just today, as my colleagues know, the Democrats voted down, through a procedural method, voted down--what we are trying to do is to have an up-or-down vote on the bill, but they don't want their yeas and nays to be recorded as is required by the Constitution of the United States. Article 1, section 7, the second paragraph says that for a bill to be passed into law, it has to be voted on by both Houses. It has to be the very same bill, and then it has to be signed by the President or a veto has to be overridden, and the yeas and nays must be recorded. So it is totally unconstitutional what the leadership is doing.
And I have one question for the Speaker. If Democrats are confident that the American people want this new multitrillion dollar program, why are they avoiding a simple up-or-down vote? Well, the simple truth is that the House Democrats just don't want that because they don't want to face the voters. They don't want to face their constituents about these special deals. They don't want to face the zombi economics that they're using. But the jig is up for the Democrats trying to pull the wool over the eyes of Americans, because Americans get it. They understand that this is going to be disastrous.
As I mentioned before, we are going to have costs go out of the roof for everybody. And, in fact, experts tell us that people who have private insurance, private insurance today for a family, their insurance premiums are going to go up $2,100 a year because of ObamaCare if this is passed into law.
Mr. FLEMING. Those are all great. I appreciate your adding some of the things I left out. This list is getting so long of all the special deals. And the way that the Democrats are attempting to bypass the Constitution is just really unbelievable, and it's making Americans awfully mad. The emails I'm getting are really showing me either people are extremely mad or extremely terrified.
Now I would like to turn to the other gentleman from Georgia, Dr. Gingrey, and see, do you have other comments about the process?
And by the way, I must say that the President, Nancy Pelosi, and even HARRY REID say the process doesn't count, that the American people don't care about the process, only the finished product. Well, that tells me that the ends justify the means, and I just don't agree with that.
What say you, sir?
Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding to me.
I agree with my colleagues that process does matter. We, physician Members in particular, are concerned mostly about the policy, and we are emphasizing policy tonight, and we will continue to do that. But the American people definitely care about process.
I want to go back, Mr. Speaker, to what my colleague from Georgia was just saying in regard to the insurance premiums are going to go up for those in the private market. There is no question about that. The CBO has said as much. And, Mr. Speaker, you wonder, maybe the American people wonder, if that's true, if the whole purpose of this reform plan was to lower the cost of insurance so more of the uninsured would have insurance, those that are not eligible for Medicaid and just don't realize it, that we have to lower the cost or they can't, we've wasted our time. We've spent $1 trillion and we have accomplished nothing.
But, Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that this may be intentional. This may, indeed, be intentional. If what you want, Mr. Speaker, ultimately is a socialized national health insurance system like other countries have, where rationing is commonplace and denial is commonplace and old people get thrown under the bus, if that is ultimately what you want, you want the Federal Government, and your mindset, your mentality is more government is better government, more control is better because the people are too dumb to run their own lives so we want to take over, we want to take over one-sixth of the economy, so you drive up the cost of health insurance in the 40 percent of the market that's private, eventually there is no private market. And everybody morphs into these public plans. That's why the Democratic majority insisted on a public option. They didn't get it, but that's coming next. That's coming next.
And I will yield back to the gentleman controlling the time to yield to Dr. Broun.
Thank you, Dr. Gingrey. Let me add a couple points and then I will yield to the other gentleman.
You know, we have got two bills right now. We have the Senate bill which has all of these ugly, sleazy deals in them that even the Members on the other side don't want their fingerprints on, and that is why we are going through this deemed process, because they want to pass it without voting for it. Crazy.
Anyway, the reconciliation part, the so-called correcting bill that they are wanting to vote on is going to do this: It is going to increase taxes by $155.8 billion on top of the Senate bill. So it is increasing taxes. It also takes over the student loan program. So what?
Well, this is the so-what. It is a job killer. It is going to take all the profits from the private industries that have been loaning this money, it is going to unemploy 35,000 Americans, and it is going to skim that profit to dump into this to go down the sinkhole.
Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. On this point about the job killer, this student loan--Federal Government, once again, the Federal Government taking over the student loan program. Well, I don't know. Ten, 15 years ago they took over half of it, and that wasn't enough. Although that killed about 50,000 jobs, I say to my colleague from Louisiana, Dr. Fleming. And now, as he points out, now they want it all, and that is going to kill another 30,000.
So, Mr. Speaker, we are talking about 80,000 jobs in the private market so that the Federal Government can have a 4-percent spread, borrowing money at 2.5 percent, lending it out to the students at 6.5 percent, 7 percent, and taking in $60 billion so this majority party can spend it on more social welfare programs. That is what we are talking about. And I yield back to my colleague.
Mr. FLEMING. Reclaiming my time. And then one other deal that just slipped in on the House side is the North Dakota deal. There are carve-outs there.
So the sweet deals have not stopped even though the Senate bill is complete. I understand that there have been in fact ambassadorships, like an ambassadorship to NATO has been offered for a ``yes'' vote. We have Members of Congress being carted around in Air Force One and certainly asked out to dinner and all sorts of things like that.
Look, this is one-sixth of the economy. This is the future of our Nation for a century. Are we so lack of character that we are willing to sell our souls for just about nothing? I yield to the gentleman from Georgia.
Mr. BROUN of Georgia. I thank you, Dr. Fleming, for yielding. We are here talking tonight amongst ourselves during this Special Order period that Dr. Fleming is controlling--very well, thank you--and I am just honored to joining him and Dr. Gingrey here.
But the American people are asking, what can they do? They are asking, is this a done deal? In fact, I have talked to a lot of people not only in my district but around the State of Georgia and even some from other States, and the American people are saying, ``What can we do? Is this a done deal? Is this going to pass?''
I don't think it is a done deal. And it is up to the American people whether it passes or not, because the Democrats don't want their fingerprints on the Senate bill, they don't want their fingerprints on all the increase in the Internal Revenue Service and the increased taxes, the health care insurance police that is going to be put in place. They don't want their fingerprints on the increased costs; in fact, they are even denying the increased costs. Why? Because the Democrats know this is a bum deal. They know that.
In fact, I have talked to just in the last 2 or 3 days several Democrats, and I have been told by the Democrats that every one of them know it is going to raise premiums. Every one of them know that it is going to increase the cost of health care above doing nothing. Every one of them know that this is a government takeover of the health care system. And what do they do? They come down here and say we are in favor of the big insurance companies.
I don't like the big insurance companies. As a medical doctor, I have been fighting them through almost four decades of practicing medicine. I been fighting them for my patients. But they know that.
And we hear the President say, well, if the American people understood his plan, they would accept it and embrace it. Hogwash. The American people do understand his plan, and they reject it overwhelmingly. And I would yield back.
Mr. FLEMING. Reclaiming my time. I am sure that my other colleague from Georgia has a few choice comments as well.
Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding, because I just happen to have a slide. I think my colleague from Louisiana noticed that slide. Maybe my good friend from Athens can't see it, but this is ``Notable Quotable.''
Look, Mr. Speaker, I respect the Speaker of the House of Representatives. We all do, of course. And anybody can misspeak and make a bad quote. But, gee, whiz, for the Speaker of the House to say--here is the quote: ``We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.'' I have got to repeat that for you, Mr. Speaker, in case you didn't hear and my colleagues, both sides of the aisle. The Speaker of the House just a couple, a few days ago. Here is the quote: ``We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.''
Now, that is why the American people are outraged. They know that. 2,700 pages, and then they come here with this reconciliation package. And, oh, they are going to give us 72 hours to study it. And then, as my friend from Georgia was talking about, the Scheme and Deem or the Slaughter solution.
Mr. Speaker, I am telling you, the majority party, if they do that, if they pass this bill, this Senate bill without really voting on it to trick the American people so they don't have to go home and face the irate voters, they are going to get slaughtered in November.
I yield back to the gentleman controlling the time.
Mr. FLEMING. Reclaiming my time. In the last few moments that we have in our discussion, which I think has been a great discussion, and once again I thank the gentlemen for joining me this evening.
You know, we are in the final hours of this, it would appear. And we don't know if it is going to pass or not. I suspect that if the votes were there, we would be voting on it today. So I do think that the American people still have an opportunity to reach out to those who have not committed, and even those who have.
You know, we don't have even one single Republican that has voted for any of this except for one, and even he is not going to vote for it this time.
So this is not a bipartisan bill except to the extent of its opposition. We have the Republicans, we have a good group of Democrats, and also particularly pro-life Democrats, and the American people. But, unfortunately, we have a big enough group, a large enough group, if you will, of Democrats who feel through their arrogance they can still trump the American people and those others.
And, you know, when you are talking about monumental legislation, Mr. Speaker, we are not talking about a small little bill that maybe it is a financial bill and maybe there are some little deals that have to be made in the back so that we can pull a couple more votes. We are
talking about a fundamental bill, perhaps the most important that has been voted on in more than 40 years that affects every American in the most intimate way. Yet we are in the situation with this where we are still up to sleazy deals. Anyway we can get it done, even if you hate the bill, get it done. We can fix it later. That is the craziest thing I have ever heard of.
And I would be happy to yield to the gentleman, Dr. BROUN.
Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Well, it is the craziest thing because they are not going to fix taxpayer-funded abortions in reconciliation. We have got, I think it is, 41 Democrats that claim to be pro-life. They have whittled it down to 12. Those other 29 so-called pro-life Democrats cannot ever, ever again claim to be pro-life, because if they vote for this bill, they are going to be voting for taxpayers to fund killing unborn children.
Mr. FLEMING. And if you would yield back for one moment. This will be the biggest increase in abortions since Roe v. Wade. And I yield back.
Mr. BROUN of Georgia. And it is going to be a big boom for Planned Parenthood, which is the largest abortion provider in this country and in the world. So those 29 pro-life Democrats can never, ever claim to be pro-life again if they vote for the rule. If they vote for the rule, they can never, ever claim to be pro-life again because they are voting for abortion.
Also, the American people are smarter than what our Democratic colleagues evidently give them credit for, because the American people will know when we vote on the rule, which is what I think we are going to see on Sunday, a vote on the rule, whenever it is. When we vote on that rule, they are going to be voting for the Senate bill with all the special deals, with abortion funded by taxpayer dollars, for cutouts so the illegal aliens won't be fined and taxed like American citizens will be, so that all of the bad things that are in the Senate bill that the American public overwhelmingly have rejected--when they vote for that rule, the American people need to take note, because they are going to be voting for the greatest government takeover of our economy ever in the history of this Nation because they have put in place a mechanism to socialize the health care system.
In the 1930s, the Socialist party of the United States said the fastest way to destroy freedom in America, the fastest way to change America from being a free Nation with free people into a Socialist Nation with government control, central control from Washington, D.C., is a government takeover of the American health care system.
The American people need to contact their Democratic members and say: ``No. Or, we are going to say `no' to you.''
Mr. FLEMING. We have got only 1 or 2 minutes remaining, and I am going to turn the remainder of this over to Dr. Gingrey.
Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. I thank the gentleman for yielding. As we conclude, I have got one last slide I want to share with my colleagues. The title of it, the Slaughter solution. My colleagues have already mentioned it. But it would indeed let Speaker Pelosi send the Senate bill to President Obama without an up-or-down vote. It would just be deemed passage when they vote for the rule.
Americans deserve an up-or-down vote. And listen to these quotes as we conclude our hour.
President Obama: ``I believe Congress owes the American people a final up-or-down vote.''
The Democratic National Committee chairman, his quote: ``There is going to be a vote, and it's going to be an up-or-down vote. Everybody is going to be up or down on the record and be accountable either for a `yes' vote or a `no' vote.''
Have the intestinal fortitude, Mr. Speaker, to stand up and be counted. Stand up and be counted. That is all we are asking. And I yield back to the gentleman from Louisiana.
Mr. FLEMING. I thank you gentlemen for joining me this evening. I thank our audience. This has been again another productive discussion about health care. I ask that everyone going forward in the next 3 days pray for us. And I yield to the gentleman.
Mr. BROUN of Georgia. One final word.
The American people can kill this bill by contacting their Democratic Congressmen and saying ``no'' to this government takeover of health care system that is going to ruin our economy.