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Public Statements

Protecting Access to Healthcare Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BARTON of Texas. I thank the distinguished chairman.

We have just heard an argument from one of the authors, if not the chief author, of the new health care law. So it's understandable that former Chairman Waxman would rise in indignant defense of his product and opposed to this bill.

H.R. 5, the PATH bill, is in actuality a reasoned response to an irrational attempt to socialize health care in the United States of America. The Independent Payment Advisory Board, which this legislation repeals, is an independent 15-member panel appointed by the President, unless the President doesn't appoint it, in which case three of the President's chief advisers become the board. And if they don't decide to do it, then one person, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, has the authority when this kicks in in 2014 to make all kinds of decisions that directly impact health care in America.

I don't think, and a majority of my colleagues don't think, that that's the way it should be done. So this bill in one paragraph--I think on page 24--repeals that section. That is a good start.

It is not the end-all be-all, but it is a good start to regaining control of health care by individuals and the marketplace.

The other thing this bill does is it puts in a medical malpractice reform that has been long overdue. The President, in his State of the Union, said he was for medical malpractice reform, but I am told that he has said he is not for this medical malpractice reform, just like he is not against the Keystone pipeline, but he called Senators to oppose it when it came up in the other body.

We need medical malpractice reform. Independent observers have said that this bill, which Congressman Gingrey of Georgia is the original sponsor of, would save $48 billion over, I think, a 10-year period if enacted--$48 billion. That's real reform. It does not preempt States. It allows the States to continue their medical malpractice laws that they've already enacted.

So I ask that we vote for this piece of legislation.

And I thank the chairman and the subcommittee chairman and all of the Members who have made it possible.


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