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Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. KIND. I thank my friend from California for yielding me this time.

Madam Chair, I rise in support of the resolution. I do so because I believed at the time when the CLASS Act was inserted in the Affordable Care Act it wasn't a sustainable program. And sure enough, when Secretary Sebelius and those at the Department of Health and Human Services had a chance to analyze it and try to implement it, they reached the same conclusion.

I just hope that today my Republican colleagues don't take too much glee or delight over the fact that this resolution will pass and it repeals yet another small section of the Affordable Care Act, because just by repealing it without replacing it doesn't solve the problem with the rising long-term health care costs that our Nation faces.

I know my friend Dr. Boustany shares his interest in trying to find a fix to this situation, and I hope that the parties are able to come together and address one of the paramount challenges that we're still facing in health care: How do you incent young, healthy people to invest in their long-term health care needs? It's difficult to do.

And I appreciate the work by those who supported CLASS, recognizing the challenge that we faced and trying to come up with a solution. This just wasn't the answer.

And to my Democratic colleagues, I never believed that passage of the Affordable Care Act--which I did support--was the end-all, be-all for health care reform. In fact, the great potential of the Affordable Care Act was the vast experimentation that needs to take place in reforming the health care delivery system and the payment system to learn what's working and what isn't working and then drive the system to greater efficiency, better quality outcomes, and a better bang for our buck. That, to me, is what health care reform is going to look like in the years to come. It's going to be an ongoing effort trying to determine what is working and what isn't. The CLASS Act, clearly, the way it was structured, was something that wasn't going to work.

So I agree with the resolution today that we should repeal it. It's the same conclusion the administration, having a chance to look at it, reached themselves. But it doesn't leave us off the hook of trying to find a solution to one of the great challenges of long-term health care in this country.

So I would encourage my Republican colleagues--and I know many of them share this sentiment, that this does not end the work that has to go on. We've got to figure out a way to start talking to each other, listening, trusting each other to come up with some solutions. This isn't that solution today.


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