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Public Statements

Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. AL GREEN of Texas. Mr. Chairman, when it comes to health care and those who need it and can't afford it, I constantly remind myself that but for the grace of God, there go I. You don't believe in God? But for the grace of chance and circumstance, but for the goodness of luck, there go I.

The question we have to ask ourselves is what kind of country are we going to be? Are we going to be a country wherein health care becomes wealth care? Where only the wealthy can afford what is available? The technology's available. The pharmaceuticals are available. But only the wealthy can afford that which is available in the richest country in the world.

Are we going to be a country wherein pregnancy is a preexisting condition; if you are pregnant and you don't have insurance, you cannot get it? Is that the kind of country we are going to be? Are we going to be a country wherein senior citizens who are in need of pharmaceuticals cannot get them because they can't afford them, but if you're wealthy, you can. But for the grace of God, there go I.

No one deserves the status in life to which he or she is born. Born wealthy? You didn't earn it. Born poor? You don't deserve it.

The question is whether we will understand that it can happen to any one of us and that we are a country that can afford to make a difference in the lives of those who are sick and cannot take care of themselves.

So the issue today has not been whether we can afford it or whether we can do it. The question is, do we have the will? We can find the way.

I would yield to my colleague from Georgia, whom I have great respect for and for whom I hold no animus. I just would like to ask you, is it not true, my dear friend, that we can work this out and find a way to get it done? Is it not true? Can we not find a way to get this done?


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