[Congressional Record Volume 155, Number 111 (Wednesday, July 22, 2009)]
[House]
[Pages H8576-H8584]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                       NATIONAL HEALTH CARE PLAN

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mrs. Dahlkemper). Under the Speaker's 
announced policy of January 6, 2009, the gentleman from Iowa (Mr. King) 
is recognized for 60 minutes.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. I anticipate we're going to have a seamless 
transition here this evening. It looks as though there wasn't anybody 
from the other side to appear down here to defend themselves or 
advocate for this policy. I'm wondering if some of the people haven't 
gone underground that have advocated for this national health care 
plan.
  But as the gentleman from Missouri had said, we lost more jobs in the 
last 6 months than since the Great Depression. I think there's 
something here to illustrate.
  Mr. HOEKSTRA. If the gentleman would yield for just a second as you 
get your chart ready.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. I would make my point and then yield, and that is 
this is a direct contradiction to what the gentleman from Missouri has 
said. This is the White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, who said--
what day is today?
  Mr. HOEKSTRA. The 22nd.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. So it would be today. He said, ``We rescued the 
economy.''
  Mr. AKIN. I hope they don't rescue it much more.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. That's the gentleman I intended to yield to. If we 
rescue the economy, lost more jobs in 6 months than we have since the 
Great Depression, unemployment has 14.5 million, 14.7 million people 
unemployed and there are another 5.8 million people who are looking for 
a job that have exhausted their unemployment benefits, that no longer 
qualify under the

[[Page H8577]]

definition of unemployed, which takes us up over 20 million people in 
America that are looking for work.
  According to a study that was done by one of the lead thinkers in 
this, they went to 25 million effectively unemployed because many have 
had their hours cut down so they no longer are truly a full-time 
employment.
  Rescued the economy? I don't think so. Let's hope they don't rescue 
health care the same way.
  Mr. HOEKSTRA. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. KING of Iowa. The gentleman from Michigan.
  Mr. HOEKSTRA. Just before you took over and joined us in this Special 
Order, my colleague was saying that this doesn't do much for the 
unemployed. I think we have to recognize that it does. For those people 
that are in the unfortunate circumstance today of being unemployed, one 
of the things that they are concerned about is that they don't have 
access to health care. That plan may provide it.
  But the other thing that I think has been pointed out, this plan will 
hurt the economy and hurt more jobs, and what these people want is they 
want the opportunity to get back to work. And I think under the 
Republican proposals that we have out there, we have ways for people 
who are in that unfortunate situation of being unemployed there a tax 
credit or whatever to be able to go out and to buy and to have the 
freedom to choose a health care plan.
  I think that's now becoming a selling point of this new plan. It says 
if you're unemployed--and they're creating a lot of them--we're going 
to be able to provide you health care. But the Republican plan will do 
the same thing because we do believe it's important that everybody have 
the security of having access to health insurance. We just don't think 
you have to create this bureaucracy to do it.
  So let's not forget about the people who are hurting, who are 
unemployed. But just because they're unemployed doesn't mean this 
system is what they need. There are better alternatives.

  Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. HOEKSTRA. I will yield.
  Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Well, I'd like to tell you, my dear friend from 
Michigan, Mr. Hoekstra, that everybody in this country has access to 
health care. Today. Everybody, whether they're employed or unemployed. 
The reason they have access to health care is because anybody can walk 
into any emergency room anywhere in this country and they can get 
evaluation and treatment for any problem that they have.
  I used to work full time as a director of emergency services at 
Georgia Baptist Hospital in Sylvester, Georgia, and anybody that walked 
in the door for any problem was evaluated and treated, whether they had 
health insurance or not. And that's true all over the country.
  So everybody in this country, whether they have health insurance, 
whether they're employed, whether they're unemployed, whether they're 
legal immigrants, whether they're illegal aliens, whether they're 
American citizens, whether they're taxpayers or nontaxpayers, everybody 
in this country today has access the health care system.
  The thing that they don't have, the 45 million or 47 million, is they 
don't have a health insurance card or policy in their pocket to pay for 
it.
  Mr. HOEKSTRA. And we want to be able to provide them with that 
opportunity because we believe that is a more effective and more cost-
efficient way and a better way to get health care to Americans. And so 
that is one proposal to do it. But Republicans also have a proposal and 
ways to make that available that move away from this extraordinarily 
expensive and job-killing bureaucracy.
  Mr. BROUN of Georgia. You're exactly right. We have been, as 
Republicans, by our Democratic colleagues, have been described as the 
Party of No, N-O. But the reality is we are the Party of Know, K-N-O-W, 
because we know how to lower the cost of health care. We know how to 
get those uninsured people so that they can be insured.
  In fact, even the ObamaCare plan, the director of the CBO said that 
even in 10 years there's still going to be millions and millions of 
people uninsured even under the Obama plan.
  So we are the Party of Know to know how to solve these problems, to 
put people back to work, to give them lower cost for insurance. We have 
multiple plans on our side. I hope the American people understand that.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. Reclaiming my time, I'd like to pose a question 
here that is at the bottom of this. And there are a lot of different 
numbers out there and we know this is a moving target, so we're trying 
to shoot at a moving target because we know, once it's completed, it's 
going to come through here like a lightning bolt and it's going to be 
over.
  So I'm seeing numbers that show this as high as $2 trillion, but I 
can see CBO numbers that come to about $1.2 trillion and I can see tax 
increases that are in the area of $800 billion to $900 billion and 
deficits that are about $239.1 billion.
  Now, whatever these numbers are, we know that the calculations and 
predictions are different than what it's actually going to be. Programs 
always cost more money in reality than when they're actually estimated.
  But here's the point. President Obama has said we can't fix the 
economy unless we first fix health care. Health care is broken.
  Well, if you have a company that's broken, you don't go out and 
borrow more money and lower your revenue stream and increase your 
deficit. So if health care costs too much money, why do we have to add 
$1 trillion or $2 trillion to it to fix the program? That's the 
rhetorical question that I ask. It's more than rhetorical. Hopefully, 
we'll be able to get to that.
  I see the gentleman from Louisiana was leaning forward and I'd be 
happy to yield to the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Scalise).
  Mr. SCALISE. Again, I thank my friend for yielding. When we really 
talk about the numbers, there are lots of big numbers being thrown 
around, billions and billions of dollars. The CBO, Congressional Budget 
Office, has already said that the promises of savings--and President 
Obama has promised lots of savings--as he's read the bill, he's said 
the promises of savings don't exist.
  So you hear the President talking about we're going to squeeze all 
these savings out. The problem is the bill doesn't yield any savings. 
What it yields is an increase in Federal spending to the tune of 
hundreds of billions of dollars, over $800 billion in new taxes. But 
this is the bureaucracy that they create.
  I think when you really start talking about why the American people, 
as they're looking at this plan, are turning against this government 
takeover of health care, this is what really I think offends the 
American people. This is an organizational chart of President Obama and 
Speaker Pelosi's proposal to have a government takeover of health care, 
and I think what frightens people the most--and there are a lot of 
things about this bill that frighten people across America. The fact 
that you would have a bureaucrat to ration care.
  But I think what is the most offensive, even above the tax increases 
and above the hundreds of billions of dollars in spending of money that 
we don't have, is the fact that they're proposing in their bill--this 
is the doctor and this is the patient. Look at all of the bureaucracy 
that their bill is placing in between you, the consumer, the patient, 
and your doctor.
  We've got two doctors here tonight joining us from Georgia and 
Louisiana, and when you look at this organizational chart of President 
Obama and Speaker Pelosi's proposal to have a government takeover of 
health care, what offends people the most is the fact that they're 
placing all of these new Federal bureaucracies, including a health care 
czar, in between you and your doctor.
  And people know, when you look at Canada, when you look at England, 
people know what that led to. And in fact, just Monday of this week, 
Monday of this week, a tragic story. A 22-year-old man, 22-year-old man 
in England died because of England's government-run health care system, 
very similar to this proposal, denied the ability for that 22-year-old 
to get a liver transplant. His 44-year-old mother testified how 
horrible the system is that they have in England, a system that would

[[Page H8578]]

allow a 22-year-old man to die because they denied him treatment.
  This is the exact same structure. All these Federal bureaucrats 
unelected here in Washington, D.C., coming in between you, the patient, 
and your doctor. This is offensive. This is why this is such a horrible 
idea. We need reforms, but we surely don't need this.
  I yield back.

                              {time}  2100

  Mr. AKIN. Could I just jump in for a minute? There are different 
categories of people who aren't going to like this bill; but there are 
people who just hate government redtape. Genetically, I don't like 
government redtape. Can you picture trying to get a health care 
decision and something that's messed up, and you have got a wife or kid 
that needs health care, and you've got to deal with this to try to get 
health care, and these people are going to tell you whether or not you 
can get it?
  You know the one thing in my telephone townhall meeting people said 
that they want more than anything else, they want health care decisions 
made between the doctor and the patient. We offered that amendment in 
committee, and it was voted down on a party-line vote. The Democrats 
saying that they want the redtape bureaucrats to make health care 
decisions, and they voted against an amendment that said that the 
doctor and the patient should make the health care decisions. Now 
that's not where the mainstream of America is, and that's not why you 
doctors are practicing medicine--to have a bureaucrat tell you how to 
practice medicine. It gets me upset.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. Reclaiming my time, and letting the gentleman from 
Missouri relax for a minute. I wanted to bring this up. We see the flow 
charts that are today in color, and when you look at the color flow 
charts, those that are in white are the old existing programs that are 
there; and those in color are the new programs that are laid on top of 
the existing bureaucracy. This is the HillaryCare flow chart from back 
in 1993; and this is the flow chart that is, I believe, a replica of 
what hung on the office in my construction office throughout that 
entire decade and probably past the change of the millennium. It hung 
there because it scared the living daylights out of me, as an employer 
who was providing health insurance for my employees and, of course, my 
family as well.
  When I looked at this chart--I had an aversion and anybody who has 
ever been in business has an aversion to redtape--this was a redtape 
chart. This chart being put up back in 1993 was enough, I think, that 
added enough weight on that it sunk HillaryCare, because the people in 
this country did not want to create all of this bureaucracy and give 
all of this control and authority over to the government. They wanted 
to maintain their own independence, their own freedom. In the end, it 
was a freedom argument that won out, that killed HillaryCare.
  Now we have ObamaCare. The difference is, it's in color. It probably 
takes not quite as much freedom as this one might have. But I would 
point out on the gentleman's chart that the part that concerns me the 
most are these two purple circles down here at the bottom. The white 
square is the existing private health insurance, traditional health 
insurance. All of those insurance policies of those 1,300 or so 
insurance companies that are competing right now for the dollar for 
health insurance would have to flow through and become qualified health 
insurance plans. They would only be qualified if right here the health 
insurance czar decided that he had written the regulations in such a 
way that the newly created public health benefits plan--the Federal 
health insurance plan that's designed to compete against the private 
sector--could stay in business.
  So they will set the regulations and establish the mandates and 
determine what these private health insurance policies offer. Then when 
they write those standards, then they'd be competing directly against 
the public; and at some point the public swallows up private. This is 
where it gobbles it up right here. This is where you lose your freedom. 
This is where President Obama cannot make the promise that if you like 
your health insurance plan, you can keep it.
  You don't get to keep it. You don't get to keep it because the people 
that make the decisions, those who are employers that are providing 
health insurance, are going to look at the premium that's here, the 
rules that are set by the government; and they will decide whether you 
keep it. You will not, even if you're a happy employee.
  I yield to the gentleman from Georgia who has a statement to make.
  Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Well, Mr. King, I am glad you brought this up 
because the American people have been promised by this President over 
and over again. He's saying, if you like your insurance, you can keep 
it. But nothing could be further from the truth. It's not factual. It's 
just totally falsehood. If you like the policy that you have today, you 
will not be able to keep it under ObamaCare. The other thing that 
you're talking about there--let me just tell you what happens to me as 
a physician with Medicare payments.
  Mr. HOEKSTRA. Before you go there, can I just add a point?
  Mr. BROUN of Georgia. You bet.
  Mr. HOEKSTRA. There will be some people who keep their health care. 
Who will that be?
  Mr. AKIN. The wealthy.
  Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Congress.
  Mr. HOEKSTRA. It will be Federal employees and Congressmen and 
Senators will keep their health care. I believe in the Senate there was 
an amendment that was voted on, and I hope we have the opportunity to 
vote on this in the House. In the Senate there was a vote that said, 
We're going to put all Federal employees, including Members of 
Congress, into the public health plan, the plan that we will force 
millions--what was the number, 73 million in the first 5 years or 
something?
  Mr. BROUN of Georgia. It was over 100 million nationally.
  Mr. HOEKSTRA. We're going to force 100 million people into the public 
health plan. I'm not sure if they had a vote in the Energy and Commerce 
Committee on this amendment yet, but I think it's coming. When that 
vote was held in the Senate, the Senate said, We're not going into the 
public health plan. We're going to keep what we have. So it's 
fascinating for the Senate to say, We're ready to force 100 million 
people in the public into the public health plan, but we ain't going 
there. That tells you what the Senate thinks of what will be the public 
health plan. I thank my colleague for yielding.
  Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Let me tell you where I was going to begin 
with. Say a Medicare patient comes in with some chest pain, and I 
decided that they needed an x-ray of the chest or an MRI of the chest, 
I have to call a Federal bureaucrat to get permission for that patient 
to have those studies done right now today. In fact, even with a lot of 
the HMOs that are privately administered, if I prescribe an anti-
hypertensive, something to control blood pressure, I have to call a 
pharmacy benefits manager to get permission and approval to prescribe a 
medication, which I am totally against that.
  In my office we're writing a health care reform plan that will put 
patients in the position where they make the decision, not a pharmacy 
benefits manager, not a Federal bureaucrat. It's one of the plans 
that's going to be offered as a bill. But right now today, that Federal 
bureaucrat tells me, as a doctor, what kind of x-rays that I can do on 
my patients if they're on government plans, Medicare and Medicaid. It's 
already a broken system. Care is already being rationed in the 
government-supplied insurance programs today, in Medicare and Medicaid. 
It's going to get a lot worse under ObamaCare, a lot worse. We'll have 
more rationing of care, more denial of care. There will be longer 
waiting periods.

  Mr. AKIN. Just a moment now because I think you are making a point. 
The Democrats were here about an hour-and-a-half ago. They were saying, 
Hey, we don't like the idea that an insurance company rations your 
care, an insurance company gets between a doctor and a patient. As a 
Republican, I don't like that idea either; but the solution isn't to 
put an even bigger bureaucrat in the way. The solution is to get back 
to the doctor-patient relationship, which is why you practice medicine.
  Mr. HOEKSTRA. Can I offer a little history lesson? I'm not sure any 
of were you here in 2001. One of you was here in 2001.

[[Page H8579]]

  Mr. AKIN. It was my first year here.
  Mr. HOEKSTRA. You know what this reminds me of, remember we passed a 
bill--I'm thankful I voted against it--No Child Left Behind.
  Mr. AKIN. I voted ``no'' on that too.
  Mr. HOEKSTRA. Why did we vote ``no''? Because what it did, it put the 
Department of Education between a parent and their local school and 
their local administrators. That thing passed with all of this promise 
because the promise was, We're not going to leave a single child 
behind.
  Well, you and I felt passionately. We don't want to leave a child 
behind. But the way to fix that isn't to put a government bureaucracy 
in charge of that kid's education. Guess what, here we are 8 years 
later; and who now agrees with us? A lot of folks on the other side of 
the aisle; and most of the folks on this side of the aisle who voted 
for that bill now recognize that No Child Left Behind was a huge 
mistake because what it did is it took local control, parental control 
of your child's education away from parents, away from local 
administrators and moved it here to Washington. We're leaving more kids 
behind, even though we're spending more money than ever.
  A lesson from history from those of us that saw that No Child Left 
Behind wasn't going to work; this is a monstrosity that is 10 times 
bigger and will have 10 times more impact than No Child Left Behind 
will because No Child Left Behind only impacted our kids. This will 
impact every single one of us. It is the same model of moving away from 
the concept of freedom, which my colleague talked about earlier, the 
concept of freedom, freedom to raise our kids, freedom to choose our 
health care, freedom to make our own health care decisions, moving them 
to Federal bureaucracies and bureaucrats who don't know the names of 
our kids, who don't know the names of our doctors, and who don't know 
the hospitals that we want to go to. That's the problem with the 
approach that we are seeing today.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. Reclaiming my time, and as the gentleman raised the 
issue of about who will be making the decisions on health care, whether 
it will be the doctor and the patient or whether it will be the 
bureaucrat, we have on record, before the committee in the markup 2 
days ago, an amendment that was offered by Republicans--and I believe 
it was Dr. Gingrey from Georgia who offered the amendment. I happen to 
have the text of it right here handy; and it is this, Nothing in this 
section shall be construed to allow any Federal employee or political 
appointee to dictate how a medical provider practices medicine. That 
was a simple amendment that preserved the doctor-patient relationship 
and cut the bureaucrat out of it.
  Mr. HOEKSTRA. That passed, right?
  Mr. KING of Iowa. It failed. It failed on a party-line vote, save 
one. Only one Democrat would defend the doctor-patient relationship in 
the entire committee. It was shot down as a partisan vote, and that 
would be a clear principle that you would think Democrats and 
Republicans could agree upon.

  Mr. AKIN. And yet every Republican standing here tonight, we all 
stand behind that doctor-patient relationship. That's what medical care 
should be about. It was a straight party-line vote, with the exception 
of only one Democrat.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. That's correct.
  Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Would the gentleman yield?
  Mr. KING of Iowa. The gentleman.
  Mr. BROUN of Georgia. I would like to tell you a story that I 
recently heard about a patient that actually helped my friend from 
Michigan's economy. Mr. Hoekstra, you might be very interested in this 
because it actually provided some funds into your State, from what I 
understand.
  A patient in Canada had severe knee pain, such severe knee pain that 
he required narcotics. He went to see his family doctor, the gatekeeper 
to the health system up there. The doctor told him that he was just 
going to treat him with some physical therapy and give him narcotics. 
This went on for over a year before he could get in to see an 
orthopedic surgeon. It took him over a year to be on the list to see 
the orthopedic surgeon for evaluation of this severe knee pain.
  When he finally got to see the orthopedic surgeon after a year--of 
course here in this country if a family doctor, like me, wants to get a 
patient to the orthopedic surgeon, we can do it within a matter of days 
and certainly weeks, if the orthopedist is extremely busy. But it took 
him over a year to see an orthopedic surgeon that was mandated by the 
government. He had to see this particular one. It took him over a year 
to see him. The orthopedic surgeon finally did some x-rays on him and 
told the patient, Yes, you've got such and such a condition in your 
knee; and you need an operation.
  This patient said, Fine. Let's go to the hospital. I want to get rid 
of this pain. I want to get off the narcotics. The orthopedic surgeon 
said, No, no, no, no. You can't do that. We'll have to put you on a 
waiting list to get in the hospital for your surgery. The patient said, 
Well, how long is that going to take? We don't know, is what he was 
told. So the patient left Canada and came to the United States--I think 
to Michigan--to get his much-needed simple knee surgery that was denied 
immediate care, may even have made him a narcotic addict because he was 
put on those narcotics that he had to take for the severe pain. So he 
had to deal with that too because the government delayed his evaluation 
and his treatment.
  That's exactly what's going to happen to people here in America under 
this plan that's being presented by the Democrats.
  Mrs. BACHMANN. If the gentleman will yield.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. The gentlelady from Minnesota.
  Mrs. BACHMANN. Well, you know, it's very interesting. I think the 
gentlemen that are here in the Chamber tonight--I think probably 
everyone here considers themselves pro-life. And you remember during 
all of the arguments and debates that there has been on this issue of 
women making a decision about whether or not to have an abortion, one 
of the main arguments that was proffered was, No government should get 
between a woman and her doctor. The government should not get between 
the woman and her doctor when she comes to making that decision.
  Yet it's so curious. When you look at these 33 new bureaucracies that 
are created, when it comes to that decision about an abortion, you've 
got 33 new bureaucracies now that are created. I recognize those who 
are here are probably pro-life in this Chamber. But for those women who 
aren't pro-life, that's something that they need to consider very 
seriously. The government is going to be between them and their doctor 
in a whole new way, a big way, a 33-bureaucracy way. That's one thing 
women understand. Women consume health care. They purchase most of the 
health care in this country. They take care of their elderly parents. 
And women will be the ones that are stuck filling out the paperwork, 
making call after call after that call.
  We all know what it's like if you call the Department of Motor 
Vehicles and you have a problem, or you call some other government 
department if you have a problem. You know what you have to go through. 
We still have gentlemen who have served valiantly in World War II who 
still can't get medals. They're still trying to get through to get 
access.

                              {time}  2115

  Now we're looking at women having the hassle factor of having to get 
through to a bureaucrat.
  There is one thing I wanted to mention. I just finished watching 
President Obama in his press conference when he was talking to the 
Nation about his health care reform and about his health care proposal. 
I listened to every question that was asked by all of the reporters. I 
found it very curious. President Obama was adamant. He said his health 
plan, his government takeover, will not add to the deficit in the next 
10 years. He made it as a guarantee, as a promise. He will not add to 
the deficit in the next 10 years. Not one reporter who asked a question 
brought up the independent Congressional Budget Office, the testimony 
by Doug Elmendorf, where he stated unequivocally that we will see 
rising costs and a rising deficit if President Obama's plan goes into 
effect. There was not one question by the reporters. Not one question 
contradicted President Obama's statement.
  The other thing that surprised me was that President Obama has not

[[Page H8580]]

given to the public what every previous President gives out, which is, 
in mid-July, a budget update about where the budget is. Well, guess 
what. President Obama said he's going to delay putting that mid-budget 
assessment out until mid-August when all of the Members of Congress are 
back home, presumably after we take this vote on health care. Is this 
the most transparent Presidency that we've had? That's the claim.
  Mr. BROUN of Georgia. No.
  Mrs. BACHMANN. This is transparent.
  Mr. BROUN of Georgia. No.
  Mrs. BACHMANN. But he doesn't even want us to see the budget numbers. 
He doesn't even want to be asked about the CBO estimate. He said, Where 
are we going to find the money, and how is this not going to cost more 
by adding millions more?
  Mr. KING of Iowa. If the gentlelady will yield to a question.
  Mrs. BACHMANN. He said it's from waste. We're going to wring waste 
out of the system. Well, if that's so, why do we have a chart equal to 
this one showing all of the specifics of how they're going to take 
waste out of the system? Let's go ahead and start with that. Let's 
start getting these hundreds of billions of dollars out of the system 
by wringing out waste.
  It's because he knows. He knows what's going to happen. Doctors are 
going to turn into GS-15s, government employees. Doctors are going to 
take drastic reductions in payments. Nurses will take drastic 
reductions in payments. Hospitals will take drastic reductions in 
payments. What does that mean for the American people? Drastic 
reductions in quality of care if you can get care. That's what we need 
to consider.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. Reclaiming my time, if I could just make the point 
that President Obama might have told the truth tonight when he said 
that he wasn't going to increase the deficit with his national health 
care plan. We already know there are $800 billion or $900 billion in 
tax increases that are written into this, and they're only about, 
maybe, $239 billion from making their books balance. Imagine that. It's 
$239.1 billion by one set of measure. It might be a lot more. So all 
they really need to do is raise taxes another $239 billion and accept 
the estimates they have--and they might have already arrived--and he 
just simply uses his little rhetorical trick of giving you a 
definition. Well, he gives America the definition, and people hear what 
they want to hear. He speaks in a way that people hear what they want 
to hear. Again, I think that's the deal.
  I yield to the gentleman from Louisiana.
  Mr. SCALISE. There's one other thing that the President will do with 
his government takeover of health care if he truly does want to make it 
revenue-neutral, which it's not. Right now, this bill adds hundreds of 
billions of dollars to the deficit, and the number grows every day. The 
number is in the $200 billion range right now, but we know, by the end 
of this week, it's probably going to be higher.
  What the President will do is ration care. In this bill, he has got 
this health care czar--it's in his bill--with the power to ration care. 
So if he is going to control costs to make sure that it doesn't cost 
any more, well, we already know he added about $800 billion in new 
taxes, so every American family and every small businessperson knows 
they're going to see massive tax increases. That's bad enough. That's 
going to lead to millions of jobs lost in this country.
  Even with all of that, his bill costs so much over $1 trillion that 
he still doesn't have enough money to make the two ends meet. So, if he 
truly lives up to his word, then the way he does that is the same way 
that Canada, England and any other country that has a government-run 
system does it. They ration care.
  Mrs. BACHMANN. Will the gentleman talk about what ``rationing'' is? 
Talk about what ``rationing'' is. What does that mean?
  Mr. HOEKSTRA. I was going to talk about the rationing.
  I used to be in the private sector, and I used to be in the marketing 
world. We all know that these forecasts aren't actual numbers; they're 
predictions. One of the things that we have learned from these 
predictions is that--what? Does government forecast conservatively 
where, you know, if everything goes bad, we're going to be $800 billion 
short? No. The government forecasts optimistically.
  I think it's pretty safe to say that, if you take a look at the 
assumptions and the predictions that the deficit or that the amount 
that this program will add to the deficit over this period of time, it 
is probably at least double what the CBO is predicting.
  Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Tell me it's not so.
  Mr. HOEKSTRA. Yes. It's what the CBO is predicting.
  The other things it is based on are reimbursements to the States. To 
get people and some of the States to buy off on Medicaid 
reimbursements, what they do is they bump them up in the first 3-4 
years of this program, and then they cut them dramatically. We all know 
that those cuts will never take place in future years, so the deficit, 
most likely, of this proposal will be significantly higher than the 
numbers we see today. I think that has been true for just about every 
Federal program we've seen.
  Mr. AKIN. I would like to talk a little bit about the President's 
ability to predict the future in terms of his numbers because, as I 
recall, just 3 months ago, we were taking a look at what was supposed 
to be called a ``stimulus bill.'' Some of us called it a ``porkulus 
bill.'' Anyway, it was about a tremendous amount of spending. I think 
it was $787 billion in spending. The President gave us a number that we 
could take to the bank.
  He said, Look, if you guys do not pass this stimulus bill, why, we 
might have unemployment as high as 8 percent in America. So we passed 
this tremendous spending bill. Let's see. What's our unemployment now?
  Mr. KING of Iowa. 9.5.
  Mrs. BACHMANN. 9.5 percent.
  Mr. AKIN. 9.5 percent.
  Mr. BROUN of Georgia. It's almost 14 percent in many of my counties 
in Georgia.
  Mr. HOEKSTRA. Well, actually, I hate to take the lead on that, but 
we're at 15.2 percent. We have a lot of people hurting.
  Mr. AKIN. This bill isn't going to cost anything. The Congressional 
Budget Office first comes out and says it's $2 trillion, and then they 
whittle some numbers by some little fancy stuff, and it comes down to 
$1 trillion, and he says this is going to help the economy and is not 
going to cost anything. That's a little bit like his promise when he 
said, Listen to me now. He said, If you're making under $250,000, there 
won't be any tax on you, except we've got this little deal that, when 
you flip on a light switch, you're going to get taxed. Who doesn't flip 
on a light switch?
  Mrs. BACHMANN. But it's going to cost jobs. That's the other problem. 
By President Obama's own estimates, this health care plan will cost 
nearly 5 million jobs. His porkulus bill has cost us 2 million jobs. 
The takeover of GM/Chrysler cost another 150,000 jobs. The energy bill 
you just talked about is 2.5 million jobs every year. This alone is 5 
million jobs. So it's already a huge cost in terms of job loss out of 
the United States.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. Well, let me take us back to that original question 
again, which is, when the President says that the economy is a disaster 
and that we can't fix the economy unless we first fix the broken health 
care system in America and that the only way you can fix the broken 
health care system in America is to add to the spending by $1 trillion 
or $2 trillion, depending on how you want to evaluate the proposal, and 
to add to the taxes by $800 billion or more. If we end up with a huge 
deficit of $2 or $5 or $7 or $800 billion created in all of that and if 
something is broken and if you have to fix it, how can it be, if we're 
spending too much money on health care today, that we're going to spend 
more on health care tomorrow and add to the deficit and to the 
unemployment and fix the problem?
  This proposal exacerbates the problem. That's the flaw in the 
President's logic. So this is similar to the things that came out a 
couple of generations ago on another continent. If you repeat the same 
thing over and over again and if after a while people are afraid to 
challenge you, then some begin to believe it's true. It can't be true.

[[Page H8581]]

  Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. KING of Iowa. First the gentleman from Georgia and then back over 
to Louisiana.
  Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Well, I want to bring up that we hear all of 
these grandiose promises from the President, but I want to remind the 
Speaker and my colleagues here in the House--I can't speak to the 
American people--but if I could speak to them, I'd remind them, too, 
that the President just recently said that his non-stimulus bill is 
working just like he thought it would. Yet we have more people out of 
work today, and the promises made have been broken, and I was coming to 
that very point. The Chief of Staff of the President, Rahm Emanuel, who 
used to be a Member here in this House--
  Mr. KING of Iowa. Could we direct the attention down here to the 
Chief of Staff for the White House? ``We rescued the economy,'' said 
today, Rahm Emanuel.
  Mrs. BACHMANN. The President said that tonight, too.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. I'm emphasizing the gentleman's point.
  Mr. BROUN of Georgia. The point being that the President and his 
administration give us all of these grandiose promises, and they use 
all this sleight of hand, shell game of words to try to tell people 
what they want to hear, but the reality is what they say is not 
factual. It's just absolutely not factual, and the American people need 
to understand that.
  Mrs. BACHMANN. But the President did say something that I think, 
perhaps, we should listen to.
  He said tonight in his press conference that the United States spends 
about $6,000 more per person on health care. He wants to reduce that. 
So we need to listen to that now. He wants to reduce that by about 
$3,000 per person. Well now, how is he going to do that? Let's take him 
at his word. If he is going to reduce health care expenses by $3,000 
per person, that goes back to how we define ``rationing.''
  ``Rationing'' means if your baby daughter were born with a heart 
condition, would she get the pacemaker? If your 85-year-old mother had 
a problem with her hip, would she get a replacement? If, perhaps, your 
daughter had kidney problems, would she get the help?
  That's the way you reduce the costs by something as dramatic as by 
half per person. Let's face it, President Obama's plan for Americans is 
that we're getting less health care, not more.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. Under President Obama's health care proposal, 
somehow I just can't imagine ladies waiting in line to get an abortion. 
I just can't imagine they're going to do that.
  Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. AKIN. I try to picture that you can get a free C-section as long 
as you're willing to wait a year for it, you know? That's really going 
to be helpful.

  Mr. KING of Iowa. The gentleman from Louisiana has been patiently 
waiting.
  Mr. SCALISE. There are a lot of statements that have been made by the 
administration, all of which contradict each other. I think the 
American people are catching on to the fact that the administration has 
these focus groups and that they say things that people want to hear. 
Yet they do the opposite.
  Just last week, Vice President Biden said we have to spend money to 
keep from going bankrupt. Now, any American who balances his budget, 
which is every American family, knows that's a ludicrous statement; but 
it's the way that they're governing, and it's the way that this bill 
approaches this.
  In fact, as we've been talking about how much will this bill cost, 
how much will this government takeover cost, in the Energy and Commerce 
Committee earlier this week, they had amendments to the bill to 
actually add even more costs. What are those costs? What is that 
additional spending that the Vice President talks about that they need 
to implement to keep from going bankrupt?
  They added another $250 million. There was one amendment that a 
Member on the Democratic side offered in the committee which would 
create a program that would allow the Federal Government, through this 
government takeover of health care, to create a new program to allow 
for individual organizations like Planned Parenthood--and we asked if 
Planned Parenthood and if groups like ACORN would be able to access 
this program, and they said yes. It would allow groups like Planned 
Parenthood to have access to $250 million in a new Federal program--
money we don't have--to teach teenage girls how to use condoms. By the 
way, this would be without the permission of their parents.
  So imagine you're looking at this budget deficit spiraling out of 
control and at this spending in Washington spiraling out of control, 
and the President brings this government takeover of health care and 
says, We're not going to pass a bill that doesn't control costs. Yet 
there was an amendment that they passed. Not one Republican voted for 
this amendment. Those of us who are pro-life were highly offended by 
it, but the amendment passed. It's in the bill. It creates a separate 
$250 million taxpayer-funded program to allow groups like Planned 
Parenthood to teach your daughter, without your permission, how to use 
condoms. It's in their bill to take over health care. That's what's 
going on with this bill.
  The American people are seeing this. That's why they're trying to ram 
this bill through by the end of next week, without the American people 
being able to read the bill, because they know when people read this 
stuff, they're going to revolt. They should because this is a horrible 
idea.
  I yield back.
  Mr. AKIN. That's the whole point of doing these things at 3 o'clock 
in the morning with 300-page amendments. There's not even a copy of the 
bill on the floor. Why do you want to do it in the dark? Because how 
many Americans are going to vote to spend $250 million to teach your 
daughters how condoms work? There are not too many American people who 
want to vote for something like that. That's why you want to do it in 
the dark of night.
  The other thing they don't want you to do is to understand the 
difference. They want to say, Our health care system is so bad. Hey, 
there are some problems, but take a look at this compared to this 
socialized mess over in England or in Canada. Take a look at people 
like me. I'm a cancer survivor. Take a look at your survival rate for 
men with cancer: 18 percent better in the United States. We want to 
trash our system to go to something that has worse numbers? It doesn't 
make sense.
  I yield back.

                              {time}  2130

  Mr. KING of Iowa. Reclaiming my time, in recognizing there are folks 
that are lined up to speak, the gentleman from Louisiana mentioned 
ACORN as one of the huge machines that drives the Democrat turn-out-
the-vote effort that has produced over 400,000 fraudulent voter 
registration forms that seems to be behind a lot of the things that are 
going on that are pushing the hard-core, left-wing agenda.
  And by the way, they are registered--I have it as a 501(c)(3) not-
for-profit, nonpartisan organization. This is a picture of their 
headquarters at 2609 Canal Street, New Orleans. And there I stood 
across the street right before the Fourth of July, put my little camera 
up there, and here's a picture of the window at the headquarters at New 
Orleans where there is at least 174 or 175 corporations affiliated with 
ACORN, and here are the Obama posters inside the glass. This is your 
not-for-profit organization. Here's the ACORN logo hanging and the flag 
outside. You can draw your own conclusions, but there is the get-out-
the-vote machine that's funded by your Federal tax dollars, funding 
abortions with your tax dollars.
  Mrs. BACHMANN. Remember, it's a good time for ACORN. They've received 
$53 million in direct Federal grants since 1994, but now they've hit it 
big. The slot machine is paying off now because now they have access to 
$8.5 billion. Fifty-three million was chump change for ACORN. Now they 
have potentially access to $8.5 billion.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. I would like to kick this over to Louisiana. I 
yield to the gentleman.
  Mr. FLEMING. I just wanted to mention that I know you gentlemen and 
lady know that the President spoke on this very subject tonight while 
we were actually talking ourselves, and I just

[[Page H8582]]

got some input, some interesting things he said here.
  Number one, he acknowledges that the people of America are becoming 
skeptical because there haven't been any laws lately that have 
positively affected them. I think that's an understatement from our 
President. Also, he makes the claim that there is no bureaucracy. There 
will be no gap between the patient and the doctor, the sacred doctor-
patient relationship.
  Well, we've seen slide after slide of these--if the camera can show 
here with what Mr. Akin has that there are so many steps between the 
doctor and the patient. There are many now. But now it really goes 
crazy when we get into this system.
  And then finally he was asked--you may recall that we submitted House 
Resolution 615 that says if you vote for government takeover of health 
care that you are willing to sign up for it and forego a waiver which 
is built into these bills that doesn't put you into this automatically, 
that you can stay with your private health plans, and the President was 
asked this question tonight. And he basically gave no answer to the 
question. He dodged the question altogether, which we know he's so 
skillful to do.
  So it's pretty obvious that if this gets passed, that we're looking 
at a situation where the average American out there, the average 
working American, will be subject to all of the bureaucracy of a 
government-run system just like in England and in Canada. And the only 
ones who will be exempt, as Mr. Hoekstra mentioned a moment ago, will 
be the ruling elite: Congress, Senate and the President, and perhaps 
some wealthy, the Rockefellers and the Bill Gates and families such as 
that.
  I just thought these were some interesting comments that were going 
on while we were holding this session tonight.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. I thank the informed gentleman from Louisiana.
  I yield to the gentleman from Michigan.
  Mr. HOEKSTRA. I think we've had a pretty good discussion about, you 
know, people want to help. This is hard. But what's the real motive for 
moving this all under a government health care? And the gentlelady from 
Minnesota helped point out this moves $250 million into ACORN. Because 
what it does is, when you move all of this spending from the private 
sector to government, we have control. That bureaucracy has control. 
The President has control to direct policy.
  And what many of us would think is a personal policy that is between 
me and my doctor, our family and our doctor, and all of those kinds of 
things, and what we're doing when we move that amount of money--
remember, we're moving basically 20 percent of the economy. With one 
vote we're going to move it from the private sector where we each have 
some influence--and we don't like more control, and that's what the 
Republican proposals do is give us more control in that equation.
  But instead of us having more control, we're going to give it up or 
there are people in here who, the American people I don't think know 
they're giving it up. But there are people in this House, in this 
Senate, and in this town who are willing to take it and want to take it 
because they want that kind of control over social policy, health care 
policy, economic policy in this country, because they don't trust the 
American people to make those decisions for themselves. They believe 
that the economy, they believe that everything begins in Washington.
  And as Republicans, we know and we believe that it begins with the 
people at the grassroots. They are the ones that drive America. They 
are the ones that drive our communities, our States, and our country; 
not this town and not our State capitals. And that's the fundamental 
difference. We're uncomfortable taking that responsibility or moving 
that responsibility to Washington. We're not only uncomfortable with 
it, we think it's wrong. My Democrat colleagues think it's right, it's 
appropriate, and it's necessary
  Mr. KING of Iowa. The gentleman from Michigan, he's absolutely 
correct. And the people that generate these kinds of flowcharts--and 
they are liberal elitist utopianists, but they believe they are smarter 
than your average person. They don't believe the average person is 
capable of taking care of themselves. They believe they can devise the 
perfect flowchart that will make everything work out perfectly.
  And the only thing that gets in the way of all of this is because 
there are some people in the world that try to give people their 
freedom, and they will always trade off American freedom for security. 
It happened in Western Europe.
  I took a trip down to Cuba here a few years ago, a legal trip to 
Cuba. This is what occurs to my mind. As I listened to Mr. Hoekstra 
speak, how in the world do we ever balance a budget if we swallow up 
the private sector by growing government to eat up the private sector. 
Eight huge entities have been swallowed up and nationalized by 
President Obama. A large percentage of our GDP is now run by the 
government, by the White House, some of it directly, some by Rahm 
Emanuel.
  If the Federal Government continues to take over huge sections of the 
economy, like this 17 percent or whatever that number is, I don't know 
how you balance the budget. You do like they do in Cuba. You take a cut 
out of all commerce, because Castro has an investment in all things, 
and that's where this Nation is heading if we don't get a grip and get 
our freedom back.
  Mr. AKIN. I would like to jump in a little bit about this whole idea 
about our trust for different bureaucracies.

  Let us take a look at the track record. We're talking about a health 
care system that's going to have the good heart of the IRS and the 
efficiency of the postal system. Let us take a look at some of these 
different government agencies and how much--do we really want to trust 
them with our personal health care? Let's think a little bit about the 
Department of Energy. The Department of Energy was chartered with a 
mission. The mission was that we were going to make sure that we're not 
dependent on foreign sources of energy.
  Now, we have had a lot of employees and we're more dependent on 
foreign energy than we've ever been. So how good is the Department of 
Energy?
  Let's talk about the Department of Education. There was a 
Presidential commission studying the Department of Education. They came 
to the conclusion that if a foreign country had done to us what the 
Department of Education has done, we would consider it an act of war. 
But we have a lot of faith in government bureaucracies.
  Let's talk about your favorite bureaucracy. I shouldn't pick on your 
pet, the CIA. We go into gulf war 1 and they give us this intelligence. 
They say, Look, Iraq is 10 years away from making a nuclear device. We 
get in there; they're a year-and-a-half away. So they go to gulf war 
II. They say they're a year-and-a-half away. We get in there, they're 
10 years away. I mean, why do we have so much faith in all of these?
  I guess FEMA did a wonderful job on Hurricane Katrina, and yet we 
want to turn our personal health care over to all of these government 
agencies? I don't get it. It doesn't seem to make any sense at all.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. The best thing we have going for us is these 
government bureaucrats aren't always on the job. Sometimes they're on 
the job but they're not always paying attention to the job.
  This is the President's economic adviser Larry Summers, who back 
about the turn of the administration--which seems eons ago around 
January 20 of this year--made the statement that what we need to do to 
bring the economy back around was everybody's got to go out and spend, 
spend, spend. And some of us, myself included, said, Wait a minute. 
Saving this economy is about increasing our production. You can't spend 
your way into prosperity. You have to go out and produce something that 
has value and marketability and you can earn your way into prosperity.
  Just this week this gentleman woke up and said we need to produce 
now; the spending era is over. It's time to produce. I don't know if he 
went back to sleep or not, but he was right the second time, not the 
first time.
  I yield to the gentlelady from Minnesota.
  Mrs. BACHMANN. The gentleman from Iowa was talking a few moments ago 
about how much the Federal Government is getting more and more control 
over our private economy. Two

[[Page H8583]]

weeks ago there was a front page story in the Washington Times written 
by an economist from Arizona State University, and he said this. I 
found it astounding. He said since bailout Nation began, since the 
inception, just at the end of 2008 with the United States going in and 
owning banks, AIG, mortgage companies, Chrysler, and GM, and the 
various things that have been nationalized, just since that time--we're 
talking a matter of months--today the Federal Government, the economist 
said, either owns or controls 30 percent of the American economy.
  So if you take that 30 percent and then do what President Obama hopes 
to accomplish, have the Federal Government take over 17 percent of the 
wealth of this country that is created by private health care, that's 
the Federal Government taking over nearly half of the American economy 
either through owning it or through controlling it.
  How do we remain a free market capitalist country? This is the 
deconstruction of free market capitalism. And the President's only been 
in office about 6 months, and we're already looking potentially at half 
of our economy owned or controlled by the Federal Government. How do we 
ever get it back again?
  This is nothing more than an all-out war against private wealth 
creation. And not only a war against private wealth creation, but an 
all-out war and assault against retaining and owning the private wealth 
that we created. At that point, we lose the incentives. At that point 
we lose the American Dream.
  Why would we want to do that? Why would we want to encourage the next 
generation of 19- and 20-year-olds to go out, succeed, take risks, 
sacrifice, work hard in medical school? Are we going to see the best 
and brightest go to medical school? We have the best and brightest 
here--Dr. Broun, we have numerous doctors here. The best and brightest. 
Will we see that in this country?
  Those are questions we will have to answer.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. Twenty years ago this coming October 9, the wall in 
Berlin came crashing down. It was literally the Iron Curtain crashing 
down. And when it crashed down, within a few short months, almost 
bloodlessly, freedom echoed across Eastern Europe and all the way to 
the Pacific Ocean. We all knew what that was. That was free enterprise, 
capitalism, destroying a managed economy. The Soviet Union couldn't 
keep up. Ronald Reagan kept raising the stakes, and the question was, 
Will the Soviet Union checkmate us militarily before we bankrupt them 
economically?
  That was the equation, and nobody wondered in 1990, 1991, 1992 what 
was the dominant economy, what had proven, without any question, was 
the most powerful civilization in the world based on free-market 
economics.
  And here we are not quite 20 years later, the stock market takes a 
dip, and the people over here on the Democrat side of the aisle begin 
the chant: That proves capitalism has failed. Reconstruct the Soviet 
Union and tell me that.
  Mr. HOEKSTRA. We know that markets are imperfect and that markets are 
tough but that markets correct themselves and that they do that because 
people are provided with freedom to innovate and to be creative.
  I think one little last lesson from No Child Left Behind. In 2001, 
when that was passed, it said we're going to measure this year's third 
graders versus last year's third graders in the same school. And you 
say that makes no sense. But in 2001, that was the measurement tool 
that they were going to use.
  It's now 8 years later. And for 8 years, for the last 5 or 6 years, 
people said that doesn't make any sense because this group of kids this 
year could be very different than the very group of kids last year. So 
why measure the performance of those kids? We have the tools to be able 
to measure the individual achievement of every child every year, and 
that's what we should be measuring from the first day of school to the 
last day of school, how much learning took place. But because it is in 
a bureaucracy, and to change that, we have to pass a law. We have to 
pass a law through the House and the Senate, and the President has to 
sign it to change that.
  So our schools in our local communities are still being judged as 
being what? They are a failing school--that's the label that the 
Federal Government puts on them--a failing school because we are using 
a failed measurement which everybody understands is a failed 
measurement but we can't change it.

                              {time}  2145

  In a market system, in a market dynamic, it would have changed a long 
time ago.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. Dr. Broun.
  Mr. BROUN of Georgia. I would like to come back to something that my 
friend, Mr. Hoekstra from Michigan, was just saying about the 
government bureaucracy. And I want to remind all my colleagues that Mr. 
Hoekstra was talking about that putting the bureaucrats in charge of 
this gives us more power. But we won't have any control because the 
commissioner, or the health czar, is going to be making these 
decisions, and we won't.
  As Members of Congress, as the duly elected representatives of each 
of our districts, we won't have any say whatsoever on what that 
commissioner does. And coming back to what my friend, Michele Bachmann, 
was talking about and my friend Steve King was talking about, we have 
got a clear picture of what is going on here, about taking over the 
economy by this President. Because he is doing exactly the same thing 
that his Marxist buddy, Hugo Chavez, is doing in Venezuela. We have a 
very clear picture long term of where that leads.
  And that leads to what another one of our President's good buddies, 
Fidel Castro, has done to Cuba. We are headed down that same road. The 
American people can look at Cuba, at their health system, at their 
economic system, and see that that is exactly the direction that this 
administration is taking us. I'll yield back.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. Reclaiming my time, and I thank the gentleman from 
Georgia, I would point out that as I saw our President stand next to 
Hugo Chavez in that photo-op, that glad-handed, double handshake that 
took place down there, it occurred to me that in the last month, our 
President had nationalized far more businesses than Hugo Chavez had. He 
had only taken out one Cargill rice-processing plant in the previous 30 
days, and President Obama took over billions in our national economy in 
the same period of time.
  So they are going in the same place, and if anybody would like to 
know what the strategy is, they just need to go to www.dsausa.org. That 
is the Democratic Socialists of America dot org, the socialist Web 
site. There they will tell you their legislative arm is the Progressive 
Caucus here in the House of Representatives. It has 75 Members, and 
they say on their Web site we want to nationalize. It is happening 
under our very nose. And in the last minute, I yield to the gentleman 
from Missouri (Mr. Akin).
  Mr. AKIN. I was thinking about that Berlin Wall example. We think 
about the Soviet Union and what was their basic theory. Well, the 
theory is the government is going to basically give you food, the 
government is going to give you housing, the government is going to 
give you education, the government is going to give you health care. 
And let's see, what are we doing in America? The government is going to 
give you an education, the government is going to give you food, the 
government is going to give you a place to live, and the government is 
going to give you health care.
  We didn't seem to learn a whole lot, did we? Well, thank you very 
much gentlemen.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. And reclaiming my time, and just to briefly 
conclude, and that is I would like to thank all the Members that have 
come here tonight and made this 2-hour special order primarily on 
health care, on this national health care plan, this socialized 
medicine plan, and our budget and our economy. You are leaders in this 
Congress, and you are all to be commended.
  Madam Speaker, I thank you, and I yield back the balance of my time.

[[Page H8584]]



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