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Public Statements

Freshman Class on Obamacare

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DUNCAN of South Carolina. I want to thank the gentleman from New York for his leadership on this issue.

I just got a text message a minute ago from my wife that said my youngest son, he's 11, hit an in-the-park home run, and I wasn't there. I wasn't there because we're here serving in the United States Congress to try to make America better for my 11-year-old and for children of this generation and future generations.

I believe that this particular legislation that was passed by the last Congress should be ruled unconstitutional--for a lot of different reasons. And I think my good friend from Florida (Mr. West) is going to talk momentarily about an article that he wrote, a great op-ed, in a Washington newspaper today. I thought it was spot-on, so I don't want to steal his thunder on that.

He talks in there about the Independent Payment Advisory Board, this committee of 15 members that Congress basically divested some of its power, gave some of its power over to a 15-member panel.

Now, America needs to realize that this 15-member panel will be making decisions, health care decisions for you and your family. If you're on Medicare, this 15-member panel, IPAB, will be making decisions on what they'll pay for, what treatment you can get, how long you can stay in a nursing facility for rehab, a lot of different things. We're divesting responsibility and decision-making to a panel.

This Congress just last week passed the repeal of that Independent Payment Advisory Board, IPAB, as it's known. We sent it to the abyss known as the United States Senate, because under that Democrat leadership under Harry Reid, they fail to take good, commonsense legislation up in the Senate for a vote.

But you know what? The last Congress that passed what's now known as ObamaCare, the Affordable Care Act, they gave some of their power away to this board, and anything that board does becomes law. And the only way Congress can overturn that law is with a majority vote or a supermajority vote in the United States Senate. That's 60 Members that have to vote against something that IPAB does.

When I read the United States Constitution, article I, section 1, it's at the very beginning, right after the preamble, this is what it says:

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

I don't see in there an Independent Payment Advisory Board at all. I see a United States Congress made up of a House and a Senate. That's what the United States Supreme Court ought to rule automatically unconstitutional in this bill.

We can talk about a lot of other things, but that bill was wrong for America. It's going to cost small businesses, it's going to stymie the economy, and we may never recover from what's coming with the full implementation of ObamaCare.


Mr. DUNCAN of South Carolina. That's an interesting point, because I'm on the Natural Resources Committee. We deal with the EPA and a number of other, what used to be known as the MMS, and now BOEMRE, that makes regulations regarding offshore drilling, and they can't do anything without some public comment period. They can't promulgate a regulation that isn't subject to a public comment period and an appeal process.

But from what I hear you saying is this 15-member board can pass something in the dark of the night, in the back room, without transparency, without public input, without public comment period, and it will have the force of law.


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