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Public Statements

Repeal of Obamacare Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. ROE of Tennessee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I rise today to urge my colleagues to vote for repeal of the Affordable Care Act. As a physician, I've taken care of families for more than 30 years. During my time on the front lines, I watched our health care costs skyrocket and our health care freedom erode. I observed three major problems with the health care system. One, it costs too much. It's unaffordable for too many people. Two, there were people who didn't have access to care. And three, there's a liability crisis in this country.

The problem is too much government, so more government is not the solution. Unfortunately, the President and his party did not learn the lessons of Tennessee. In Tennessee, it began with universal coverage in the nineties called TennCare. And in 10 short budget years, Mr. Speaker, I saw our costs triple from $2.5 billion a year to $8.5 billion a year. I saw access for patients go down and the quality of their care go down.

The Affordable Care Act applies this same failed idea to the whole country through a 2,700-page bill and more than 13,000 pages of rules--and still writing. The Affordable Care Act doesn't address the major problem, which is cost. And it's also going to cost jobs.

I spoke to a business owner in Tennessee just this afternoon who has 800 employees. He said his H.R. people looked at this plan. He's going to have to lay off 50 people, put 150 people on part-time work, and possibly close some of his stores.

We need to create an economic environment that creates jobs. The last Congress passed legislation that would destroy jobs. And make no mistake, our health care system was fundamentally flawed before the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. But the Affordable Care Act made a bad situation, I believe, worse. The fact is we don't have free-market medical care today. About half of all the health care bills are paid by government.

But that aside, with all the court cases, the policy proposals, the statistics, it's still important to remember that health care is about human beings. It's about people. There are no Republican or Democrat heart attacks. I've never seen one. I've never operated on a Republican or Democratic cancer in my life. So we need to talk about solutions in a bipartisan way for everyone. Health care is too important to be left to insurance bean counters and to Washington bureaucrats. Government always makes things more expensive and eventually leads to shortages, to long waits, and to rationing.

Let's just talk about a few ideas of what we should do next. Let's start by just leveling the playing field and give all individuals the same tax break that businesses get right now. Just treat an individual like a business. Let's start by empowering our seniors and saving Medicare by giving them choice. Let's allow small businesses to join together to compete for more affordable insurance just like big corporations do.


Mr. ROE of Tennessee. And let's lower prescription costs by allowing folks to buy medicines anywhere in the world that's safe. Let's reform medical malpractice. Finally, let's force insurance companies to compete for your business across State lines.

Health care freedom is about the right incentives and personal empowerment, not government mandates and regulation. I strongly encourage a ``yes'' vote for this bill.


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