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Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. DIAZ-BALART. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I rise today to engage in a colloquy with my friend from Pennsylvania (Mr. Pitts), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee.

Mr. Chairman, I am clearly no fan of ObamaCare, and I know that you are not as well, Mr. Pitts. You and your committee have done some excellent work in the reconciliation process in eliminating some of the major spending abuses in this law. I do have a concern, however, with one of the provisions that would affect Puerto Rico and what they receive in Medicaid funding.

The fact of the matter is the question regarding Medicaid funding for the territories was separate and has been separate from many issues that many of us on this side of the aisle find so objectionable in ObamaCare--for example, like the individual mandate and the raid on Medicare and the slew of job-killing new taxes and regulations. They are at least partially responsible for the unacceptable unemployment situation, including 10 percent unemployment among Hispanics in the United States.

As you know, the bill before us returns the Medicaid funding cap and Federal match to pre-ObamaCare levels for the U.S. territories.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman from Pennsylvania has again expired.

Mr. DIAZ-BALART. If I may have an additional 30 seconds, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. An additional 30 seconds. I've got three other committees that are coming.

Mr. DIAZ-BALART. I thank the gentleman.

For years, the territories have expressed concern with the funding levels, and I believe that PPACA was a vehicle to try to alleviate some of those concerns. My hope is that we can work together, along with Governor Fortuño, who has been the most fiscally responsible Governor in Puerto Rico, looking into the funding levels in Medicaid so that we can properly address the needs of the millions of U.S. citizens in the territories.

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