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Public Statements

Republican Solutions to Health Care

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DCF


I want to thank my friend and colleague, Mr. Messer from Indiana, for yielding and for your leadership in talking about this here on the House floor.

I think a lot of us over the last few years that this law has been on the books, while we have been pointing out all of the many problems that it is creating for families, we predicted, unfortunately, we saw this coming. This ``train wreck,'' as it was called by the lead sponsor in the Senate who rammed the bill through, he called it a train wreck recently because he finally acknowledged how devastating this would be. Of course, the President, we all remember that promise that was repeated time and time again: If you like what you have, you can keep it. Something we all embrace.

Of course, I knew, you knew, so many of us knew, I think even the President knew, unfortunately, when he was making that promise time and time again for the last 3 years, that that promise could not be kept under the President's health care law; just with all the mandates, all the unworkable taxes and mandates and these government bureaucrats that come between patients and doctors and get in the middle of health care, and IRS agents coming with the hammer to enforce this law.

We all knew. We saw that there would be no way people would be able to keep the health care that they liked. While we repeated it many times, it wasn't real until recently when millions--millions--of families started getting cancelation notices, losing the good health care that they have today and enjoy.

I have gotten letters from so many of my constituents. We reached out through social media with Facebook and Twitter and Share with Steve and asked for their stories. I remember Shaun from Covington who said, I am losing the good health care I have.

I posed the question to Secretary Sebelius at a hearing. I said, here is a guy in my district, we are hearing this over and over again, he is losing his health care, what do you tell him? She said, well, just go in the marketplace. Of course this is the Web site that doesn't work that spent over $500 million of taxpayer money. Not one person has been held accountable, by the way, for that failure.

As we point out all these failures, we also said there is a better way. We as conservatives stepped forward and said, we ought to put down on paper the things we stand for: market-driven, consumer-patient oriented health care reforms that actually lower costs, that will actually increase access. We put it together in a bill called the American Health Care Reform Act, H.R. 3121, a bill anybody can go look up and read. In fact, a bill that is less than 200 pages long with all the great reforms in it. Of course, comparing and contrasting that to the President's health care law with over 2,700 pages, all these unworkable mandates.

What the bill does is just basic commonsense reforms that should have been done years ago. We, of course, as you mentioned, allow people to buy across State lines. People in America, probably some of the best consumers in the world, with the Internet with so many options, people go online every day and find good products for their family. They don't care where that product is from. If it is good for their family, they are going to buy it.

With health care you really can't do that. You don't really have that opportunity. The health care law has taken those options away from families. So we say, let's empower people again, let's put patients back in charge of their health care decisions.

I am from Louisiana. If I find a better deal for my family in the State of Maryland, I can go buy that plan. I should be able to buy that plan. Right now I really can't. Yet you do that with car insurance and so many other products. You are able to buy across State lines, and it gives you opportunities.

We do so many other things to make sure people with preexisting conditions can't be discriminated against, allowing small businesses to pull together.

Again, this is a bill that has been put together by conservatives in the House. In fact, a number of medical doctors, actual medical doctors, people with real world experience in health care, helped draft this bill and,

ultimately, we brought it forward and we have over 100 cosponsors.

So I think the momentum is building as the President's law just continues to collapse and, frankly, the President's credibility collapses with it. People I think are looking for that better way, and we have it with the American Health Care Reform Act.

Again, I thank the gentleman from Indiana for his leadership, and I yield back.


Sure. One of the things we have heard so much from this administration about health care as they have referred to people's plans, good plans, they refer to many of them as ``lousy'' plans. I have been in hearings where we have had Obama administration officials, in fact the President himself goes around chastising people and saying, you might be losing your plan, but it probably wasn't that good of a plan anyway.

Who is it for some Washington politician to tell somebody, and in Covington, Louisiana, as a constituent of mine, Shaun, said, who is it for the President to say that Shaun's plan was lousy when Shaun liked his plan? The President's promise was not, ``If Barack Obama likes what you have, you can keep it.'' The promise was, ``If you like what you have, you can keep it.'' No Washington politician or bureaucrat or IRS agent should be able to take that away from you.

Yet, as that was happening and they are berating people saying, your plan wasn't that good, it was a lousy plan, I said it is kind of like a guy who burns down your house and then he shows up with an empty bucket of water and then he sits there and gives you a lecture on how bad and lousy your house was before the fire. All you want is your house back. You didn't want somebody to burn it down in the first place.

People just want their good health care. They sure don't want to be lectured by some bureaucrat or politician in Washington saying, hey, your plan really wasn't that good because I don't think it was that good; when, in fact, the person back home is saying, I thought it was good, it was good for my family, my doctor can go see my kids, and I want to continue that relationship with my doctor, and they are about to lose it. They are losing it with these Washington politicians who helped ram this bill through.

That is why I think, as the President's health care law collapses on all the weight of these unworkable mandates and taxes, we need to put up an alternative, and we have an alternative called a better way--the American Health Care Reform Act.

We want to help bail those people out with a real bucket of water and a real relief sign that there is something that we are doing, not only to point out how bad the law is--they are seeing it play out every day--but also how we can actually fix the problems that are becoming even worse because of this law.


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