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Public Statements

Protecting Access to Healthcare Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

The House in Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union had under consideration the bill (H.R. 5) to improve patient access to health care services and provide improved medical care by reducing the excessive burden the liability system places on the health care delivery system:

Mr. CROWLEY. Mr. Chair, today, the House is considering legislation that would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB. To be clear, I am not a big fan of IPAB--I had concerns with this new entity when it was first being discussed, and I remain concerned with it today.

I do find it interesting, however, that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are suddenly so troubled about IPAB's effect on Medicare, when their plan to end Medicare is so much worse.

I fear that today's floor action is less about a real concern for seniors, hospitals and physicians in the Medicare program, and more about trying to win a battle in the war against health insurance reform.

They have shown with their words and their actions, even down to their choice of offsets, that this yet another political exercise.

But that is a game that I refuse to play. Our seniors deserve real answers and real solutions, not yet another repeal-but-not-replace attempt.

So even though I don't think that IPAB is the best answer to strengthening Medicare, I can't in good conscience vote for this bill, at this time, with this kind of clear and blatant political agenda at the core of this debate.

What we need is a real, substantive discussion about solutions to keep Medicare costs, and medical malpractice costs as well, under control for the long term. But with today's floor action, these needed discussions are too likely to get lost in a sea of shouting.

And that's not what we need right now.

If my colleagues on the other side of the aisle want to work with us to address the concerns that many of us have with IPAB, to make changes, then I'm willing to meet them halfway.

But if they want to blame the Affordable Care Act for everything wrong in the world, even when it has controlled costs so well that IPAB won't even come into play for years to come, and even when it has given millions of American families control back over their health care, I can't join them in these political attacks.

So I have to oppose passage of this bill today.

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