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Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. RYAN of Ohio. I thank the gentleman. In Akron, Ohio, Summa Health Care is already implementing some of these accountable care organization methods, the medical home, and saving millions and millions of dollars because of the health care reform bill. I love this idea of we can't have a board that's rationing care.

What are the insurance companies doing today, Mr. Chairman? We act like we're living in a society where the insurance industry is okaying every procedure that needs to get done. They're rationing care right now. We have 40 or 50 million Americans who can't afford health care.

So we're going to throw our seniors now into the insurance market, and we're going to give them a premium support or a voucher--and our friend says it's not a voucher, it's premium support--to help them go out into the free market and buy insurance. But that voucher is only going to go up 3 or 4 percent a year while health care costs are going to go up 5, 10--who knows--15 percent a year. So that voucher every single year goes down and becomes worth less. That's the concern that we have on our side, and that's why we think the reform we put into place was a positive thing.

Then the Medicaid cuts, which people in Ohio use to make sure they can get into a nursing home when they're seniors, get a cut by one-third.

So we're cutting Medicaid by a third, we're basically privatizing the Medicare system into a voucher system, sending our seniors to swim with the sharks in the insurance market, hope that the insurance companies grant them coverage for what they may need. Oh, by the way, you can't really make money off insuring senior citizens. This is the kind of philosophy. This is why this debate about the budget is really a positive one because I think it articulates the two different sides.

Lastly, let me just say this is about balance. The deep, deep cuts in the Republican budget are because they can't ask Warren Buffett to pay a little bit more in taxes. All during the committee process this year and last year, we had our friends on the other side of the aisle who honor Ronald Reagan--light candles, burn incense, put his picture up.


Mr. RYAN from Ohio. Ronald Reagan raised taxes 11 times: Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982; Highway Revenue Act of 1982; Social Security amendments of 1983; Railroad Retirement Revenue Act, tax increase of 1983; Deficit Reduction Act of 1984; Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985; Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985; Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986; continuing resolution in '87, and a continuing resolution in '88.

The responsible thing to do is to ask Warren Buffett and his friends to help us make sure that these cuts aren't that deep in Medicare and Medicaid and Pell Grants and the other investments that we need to make in this country.


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