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Public Statements

Freshman Class on Obamacare

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. AUSTIN SCOTT of Georgia. Thank you very much.

Mr. Speaker, as you know, this week, the United States Supreme Court began hearing testimony on the constitutionality of the President's health care law, a law that, according to a USA Today poll, 72 percent of Americans believe is unconstitutional.

Mr. Speaker, the key question is: If the Federal Government can mandate its citizens buy health insurance, then what can they not mandate from Washington, D.C., that the American citizens must buy?

Mr. Speaker, the consequences of this mandate are severe. If the Supreme Court does not overturn it, what will the Federal Government allow themselves to mandate next? Life insurance? Just one word difference, health insurance versus life insurance. Bank accounts? A red car instead of a blue one? Organic apples instead of grapes? President Obama has put America on a very steep and slippery slope, and House Republicans are here to stop him.

During his takeover of one-sixth of the economy--and that's what it's about, Mr. Speaker, it's about the fact that this is one-sixth of the economy--President Obama stated that if you liked your plan, you can keep it. It was a promise, a pledge he made to the American citizens. However, Americans soon found out, as we know today, exactly what he meant.

Under President Obama's health care law, you technically have a choice: You can keep your current plan as he promised, the health insurance plan that you chose. And yes, as long as the President, by his commission of unelected bureaucrats, approves your purchase, then you can keep the plan without paying a penalty. However, if his bureaucrats don't approve your plan, you'll pay a penalty. Mr. Speaker, the American people know that's not a choice.

Two years after this bill was signed into law, our worst suspicions are now being confirmed. Thanks to President Obama and the Democrats who used their control of Congress, Americans will have higher costs and a reduced level of care.

The nonpartisan CBO estimates that non-employer-sponsored health insurance premiums will be 13 percent higher than if this legislation had not been signed into law, Mr. Speaker. Over 90 percent of seniors will lose their retiree prescription drug coverage they currently enjoy, and also be hit with double-digit premium increases. The CBO has also noted that the health care law ``may'' hinder job creation.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I believe there's no doubt this bill kills jobs. In fact, when you get right down to it, a small business owner who has more than 50 employees is actually going to be encouraged to terminate the number of employees that they have above 50. Otherwise, they will be penalized if they do not comply with the law. Now, think about that, Mr. Speaker: Not only does this law hinder job creation, but it forces employers to get to under the 50-employee threshold so that they will not have to deal with the job-killing bureaucracy that this bill forces upon them.

Since coming to Congress last January, the House Republican Conference has voted to repeal not only this health care bill in its entirety but the 1099 provision, which the President agreed with us on; the CLASS Act, which the President agreed with us on; and, most recently, the IPAB rules.

It's time for the Senate and President Obama to wake up and realize what the majority of Americans already know: The Not So Affordable Care Act is simply bad economic policy, bad health care policy, and a violation of our constitutional rights as American citizens.


Mr. AUSTIN SCOTT of Georgia. After listening to my colleague from Florida, I'm going to tell you it just drives home the point that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

You're talking about a panel that will have control of roughly one-sixth of the United States economy. That means more power in Washington.

I'm going to tell you, ladies and gentlemen, whether you're a Republican or a Democrat or an independent, the more power that rests in this House, the less liberty you have in your house. We're here standing up for your personal freedom and your individual liberties. We're working to make sure that you get a health care system that will continue to support you and your children.

We have over 300 children and grandchildren that we're the parents and grandchildren of in the freshmen class, and that generation is more important than the next election.


Mr. AUSTIN SCOTT of Georgia. I think the gentleman from Arkansas made a wonderful point, that maybe we haven't made enough and should have made more. And that's the difference between a recommendation and a decision.

Oftentimes, we put together many panels of experts to make recommendations to Congress, and then Congress can decide to take action on the recommendation or not to take action. This bill flips that on its head in that a panel of unelected people is going to be convened that are actually going to make the decision. They are taking away the right of the American citizen to make the decision for themselves, completely contrary to what has been done in most cases in the past.

This isn't a recommendation, ladies and gentlemen. This is a decision that is going to be made for you by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. And I'm going to tell you now that, just like a lot of Americans--both Republicans and Democrats and certainly the Independents--I feel that the people in Washington need to mind their own business and leave Americans alone. And that's the bottom line. People are fed up with it. More power in this House means less personal freedom and individual liberty in your house.


Mr. AUSTIN SCOTT of Georgia. As I listen to you talk about the individual States out there--the 50 individual States--and I'm from Georgia. The Second Amendment is extremely important to us in Georgia: the right to keep and bear arms. We haven't passed a law on the House floor and passed by the Senate and signed by the President that says every American must own a gun, or a firearm, if you want to be proper about it.

Again, it's those constitutional rights that we as Americans have. It's not for the government. It's for us as individuals. That Constitution guarantees me as a citizen that nobody in Washington can take those things from me. Our Forefathers understood, again, that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. They gave us the Constitution. They knew that with the House and the Senate being political bodies and with the President being a political body that eventually something like this would happen in this country. And so they gave us a Court. They gave us a Court with one duty--and that duty is to protect the constitutional rights of the United States citizens. And let's just hope and pray that the Court does its job and upholds our constitutional rights.

With that, I will yield the remainder of any time I have left to my colleague
from New York. Thank you so much for having us here tonight.


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