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Public Statements

Obamacare's Broken Promises

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CHABOT. I thank the gentlelady from Tennessee for yielding. I also want to thank her for organizing this Special Order this evening on such an important issue.

None of us knows for sure what the United States Supreme Court is going to do in the next few days, the next week, maybe 10 days. None of us even knows for sure when it's going to happen, but I think we all anticipate that it will be soon. I think none of us would disagree with the fact that whatever they do, it's going to have significant and real implications to an awful lot of people all across this country.

I think it's important to remember how we got into this position--this mess, quite frankly--that we're in right now relative to health care and what happened. The Democrats were in complete control. President Obama had been elected, and they controlled the House and the Senate. And rather than act in a bipartisan manner on something as important as this, which is what they should have done--they should have gotten input from both sides and done what was in the best interest of the people when you are dealing with something as important as health care--they basically rammed through a bill. Unfortunately, few had even read the bill, as we heard over and over again. And in fact, Speaker Pelosi, who was Speaker at the time, even made a statement that it was important that they pass the bill so they could find out what was in it. What an incredible statement to make.

And unfortunately, deals were made to get people to vote for this legislation. The ones that came out that seemed to be the most egregious were maybe on the other side of the Capitol building, in the other body, some of the things that we heard about there. But this is really not the way that legislation is supposed to happen, especially something as important to people's lives as their health care is.

And I think they thought that--in fact, statements were made that--the people would like it; they'd fall in love with it once it was passed. Well, that clearly hasn't happened. There was a poll out, a New York Times and CBS News poll that just came out recently that indicates that two-thirds of the American people hope--they'd like to see the Supreme Court either strike down this health care legislation, or ObamaCare or whatever terminology one prefers to use, but they'd like to see it struck down either altogether or at least in part.

Unfortunately, when they focused so much attention on this health care bill, or ObamaCare, they should have been focused on an even bigger issue, and that is how the economy is so weak and so many people are unemployed. They were back at that time, and they still are now. Instead of devoting attention where it should have been, on the economy and on getting Americans back to work, they passed this so-called economic stimulus package, spent over $800 billion. And it did grow one thing, and that's government. But unfortunately, it did not grow jobs in the private sector.

After passing that monstrosity, they moved to health care and then passed this piece of legislation. It took them basically a year to get it passed. And what has happened is it didn't, as you indicated--and I think you did an excellent job in pointing out what was said and what actually happened. They said it's not going to raise taxes. Well, it's raised 20 different taxes. They said it was going to drive down health care costs. It's increasing health care costs. They said it was going to create jobs. It's reduced jobs. In fact, it's been a wet blanket over the whole economy.

I've talked to a lot of small business people in my district back in Cincinnati and in the greater Cincinnati area, and I have heard over and over again that small businesses are afraid to hire people. They're afraid of the new regulations, the new taxes. So people aren't getting hired and the jobs aren't being created. And this isn't the only reason, but this is one of the biggest reasons that you hear our small business folks say why they are not hiring folks.

In the small business community, about 70 percent of the jobs created in our economy over the last few decades have been in the small business sector, and those are the

folks that are going to be particularly hard-hit by this ObamaCare if the Supreme Court upholds it.

Now, of course, as our colleague from Alabama mentioned previously, in the House, we passed legislation earlier in this Congress to repeal this bill. But the other body wouldn't take it up. And even if they had, I think most of us speculate that the President would have vetoed it, and we wouldn't have had two-thirds to override the repeal. So we hope the Supreme Court acts. But even if they don't, we hope that this body and the body on the other side of the building will act to repeal it.

Now, relative to one particular thing, the employer mandate, it's been estimated that that has resulted in the loss--or will result in the loss of 1.6 million jobs if that ultimately is imposed on businesses, that they have to move to this ObamaCare. And I think we all know that a lot of businesses are just going to drop coverage altogether. People that have insurance now will not have insurance if or when this goes through.

We also know there is going to be more red tape. There are going to be more regulations. There are going to be higher taxes. And it's been estimated the higher taxes alone are going to be over $500 billion--$569 billion, to be exact.

And what is all of this for? It's a law that puts government ahead of people. It's a law that consolidates power into the hands of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats that are going to decide how much of our seniors' Medicare is going to be cut. And that estimate is about $500 billion of cuts also in Medicare. So it's just an awful piece of legislation which we certainly hope the Supreme Court strikes down in the very near future.

There were alternatives to ObamaCare, things that Republicans have been pushing for a long time. For example, allowing insurance companies to sell insurance across State lines. That means more competition. That drives the cost down so people have more access to health care coverage. Also, association health plans. That means that small businesses can join together in order to negotiate with the insurance companies. They have more power to get lower rates for their workers and their employees. Medical malpractice reform. We have far too many doctors ordering tests, very expensive tests just to prevent themselves from getting sued. At least half of these lawsuits are probably frivolous. We need medical malpractice reform. And then, finally, health savings accounts, which more and more people are finding more and more attractive, saving them money and giving them more control over their health care dollars.

Those are a few of the commonsense reforms that have been proposed over the years but, unfortunately, have been blocked. And they put all of their money and all of their eggs in the basket of this ObamaCare, and I really think the thing is likely to be struck down in the very near future.

The decisions ought to be made by the people back home around their kitchen tables--people--mothers and husbands and fathers talking about what is the most important thing to their family with health care. That's where the decisions ought to be made, not in backroom deals up here on Capitol Hill.

So yes, we need health care reform. We didn't need this big government cop out, really; this monstrosity, this takeover. I know that some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle cringe when we say takeover of health care, but that, in essence, is what it is--not a complete takeover, but a heck of a big takeover by Big Government. And that's the last thing we need.

So this is bad public policy. It's bad for the American people. It needs to go.

I just want to thank you again for organizing this Special Order this evening and look forward to doing future ones talking with the American people.


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