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Public Statements

Health Care

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, yesterday I outlined a number of the broken promises we have seen in connection with the new ObamaCare law: from the promise of being able to keep the plan you have and like, to the promise of protecting Medicare, to the promise of lowering premiums, to the promise of lowering health care costs. Democrats also said taxes would not go up and existing conscience protections would be respected.

Looking back, it seems like there was not anything our Democratic friends, including the President, were not willing to promise in order to get the bill across the finish line. But there is another category of disappointments too; that is, in all the aspects of this bill Democrats did not even talk about before it passed.

We all remember when Speaker Pelosi famously said: We have to pass this bill so we can find out what is in it. One of the things Americans found out about was something called the IPAB--the Independent Payment Advisory Board. This is an unelected, unaccountable board of bureaucrats empowered by this law to make additional cuts to Medicare based on arbitrary cost control targets. As a result of this new board, 15 bureaucrats would now have the power--without any accountability whatsoever--to make changes to Medicare.

What is more, there is no judicial or administrative review of IPAB personnel or recommendations. In other words, they are accountable to no one. IPAB is not answerable to voters, and it cannot be challenged in the courts.

Its main role, as the Wall Street Journal editorial board put it, will be ``the inevitable dirty work of denying care''--``the inevitable dirty work of denying care.''

In an effort to control spending, IPAB will limit patient access to medical care. It is that simple and, frankly, it is totally unacceptable.

Republicans recognize the problem with Medicare spending and the need for reform. We also recognize that IPAB is not the answer.

This is just one more reason ObamaCare needs to be repealed and replaced, and that is why even Democrats are cosponsoring a bill to repeal it over in the House, calling it ``a flawed policy that will risk beneficiary access to care.'' So this is not just a Republican issue; there is strong bipartisan opposition to this new law.

Look, if the President himself does not even want to talk about this law anymore, and even Democrats in the House are sponsoring repeal of parts of their own law, it should be pretty obvious there is a fundamental problem.

We need to reform health care. But this reform made things worse. The evidence and broken promises are all around us. It is time the President acknowledged it, and it is time the two parties came together and did something about it.

It is time to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with the kind of commonsense reforms Americans want--reforms that actually lower costs and which put health care back in the hands of individuals and their doctors rather than bureaucrats in Washington.

Mr. President, I yield the floor.

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