Skip to comments.Duncan Hunter Archives: DO NOT SOCIALIZE MEDICINE (Just WOW!)
Posted on 10/15/2009 1:24:43 PM PDT by pissant
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest to my colleagues who talked about what they saw as the benefits of universal coverage and, I think, a very eloquent closing by the gentlewoman from Georgia [Ms. McKinney], who spoke of the necessity of this House doing the people's business, and the people not being special interests, not being necessarily corporations or industries, but people. And I think what America has heard, Mr. Speaker I want to speak very strongly against the first President Clinton plan that came out that now apparently is dead, not because of Republican opposition, but because we are outnumbered by 100 votes in this House and by quite a few in the other body, but because American people, business people, employees who wanted to keep their jobs, talked to their Democrat Representatives and their Democrat Senators, not to Republicans, who were in the minority and cannot control things, and told them not to pass this plan.
So you have the unique situation where a Democrat President, President Clinton, having total power, total control with his party over both bodies of the U.S. Congress, with the power to write a bill, delivery it to his desk within a few days, and sign it, with the Republican party being basically powerless to stop it, with all those things going for him, the President of the United States, Bill Clinton, was not able to push his first health care plan through.
Now, why did the people stop that plan? Why did Democrat Members of Congress and Members of the Senate stop that plan?
Well, I think it is fairly clear, Mr. Speaker. They sopped the plan because they perceived that it would be bad for them. And it was not just a few industries, because I don't think the Democrat Party in the House is controlled by a few industries. I think that the Members of the House who are Democrats have the same representative reflection of their constituencies that those on the Republican side have. They do what their constituents ask them to do, and they try to reflect the feelings of their constituents.
Now, why would not Americans, when faced with what has been described as this nirvana of health care, this great new benefit, where nobody is ever left out, everybody has a guarantee for life, from cradle to grave, you are going to be taken care of, and that very appealing personality of this President, who can look at an audience, whether it is a talk show or people in the White House, and you see a little glisten of a tear in his eye, and he talks about giving them security, why would not Americans walk right up and sign up for that program?
It is because Americans are a little bit different from folks in the other parts of the world. We are a country full of people that appreciate when Government gives you some security, it takes away some of your freedom. This debate over health care is a debate between Government control and freedom.
And I hate to hear the word ``reform'' used when Members first started to describe the President's own health care plan, because for practical purposes, President Clinton's first plan was socialism. If it did not socialize the delivery of health care itself, it at least socialized the financing mechanism.
I have never considered socialism to be a reform of any kind. Certainly Cuba has all-inclusive health care coverage. They have got universal coverage. Communist China has universal coverage. All of the nations we have taught over the last 40 years concerning the faults of socialism have universal health coverage. The problem is they don't have any quality, and they don't have any quality of life for the people.
You know, John Papageorge, a former commander in the 101st Airborne, described quality of life in America as being a function of the amount of control that you have over your own life. I think that was a very good description of freedom and quality of life in this country.
A lot of people looked at the President's health care package and decided that they did not like what I would like to call Clinton I, President Clinton's first health care package. That was a health care package in which everybody had to march down and sign up for the Government health care program. And if you did not sign up for the Government health care program, Government caught you and fined you a double premium if they caught you not signing up for the plan. So nobody had the option to say I want to pay for it myself, or I would rather go somewhere else, or I don't like this plan. Every American was obligated to go down and sign up with Government and pay Government money.
Everybody had to take a plan that was dished out under a Government system in which large cooperatives or purchasing alliances, Senator Phil Gramm called them collectives, but large purchasing alliances would make big deals with big insurance companies, and theoretically get good rates for packages. And those packages could either be an assigned doctor, where you basically spin a rotary wheel and if the doctor you get happens to be the guy who just immigrated from Bangladesh and has credentials to practice medicine in America, he was your doctor whether you liked him or not.
Or maybe the preferred provider list, where you had a menu of doctors, but you might still not have the right to have the doctor you wanted. Or, in some cases under President Clinton's first plan, if an insurance company, and only if an insurance company, came forward and had a plan for what is known as fee for service, that is where you can pick any doctor you want, you could be under the government plan and still have a choice of doctors and go to your own doctor.
Well, the American people did not like that deal. They weren't the French, they weren't the British, they weren't the German, they weren't the Japanese nor the Canadians. They didn't like that deal and wanted to maintain more freedom.
I don't think it is unusual or unexpected that of all the nations in the world, the people of the United States like freedom maybe a little better than anybody else. And I think that is kind of a good thing.
So they didn't sign up for President Clinton's first plan.
Incidentally, I think another reason they didn't sign up for President Clinton's first plan was because they looked at some of these countries which had socialized medicine and although they looked pretty good at first, when you saw a few figures, if you looked through the figures and looked to the quality of medicine that was delivered, you saw some pretty ugly things.
And let's go around the world and look at some of the things we saw that we could expect President Clinton to drive us toward with this first health care plan.
First, we looked at Canada. Canada was offered to us in the United States Congress as the heaven of health care. This was the place were you had a single payer system where government had finally come to grips and ``reformed health care.''
Well, let me tell you what health care reform did to Canada, now that we have looked at it a little closer.
We now have discovered that the largest hospital in Ontario had to close down for 2 weeks last Christmas because they ran out of money.
Then we discovered that there are now 177,000 Canadians waiting in line for operations.
I asked the question when I was in Minnesota recently, why are all these Canadians coming down for operations in Minnesota, Detroit, MI, and other American cities? I was told it was because they don't have to wait in line if they come to America. They get first-class health care and get it now. So they come to America.
We discovered in some places in Canada women in childbirth are not given epidural anesthetic. You may recall one of the articles that was in a national newspaper about a woman undergoing childbirth who was shivering in pain as her doctor passed her and said I know it hurts and I wish there were something I could do for you, but we just can't afford it.
So we looked at Canada and we also saw of those 177,000 Canadians waiting for operations, over 25 percent of them surveyed say they are in some sort of pain. So we decided maybe Canada wasn't the great model for ``health care reform'' or socialized medicine.
Well, some Members of the House talked about Japan, because Japan dedicates a smaller percentage of their Gross National Product to health care than the United States. We know what they have in Japan. They have a medical system in which doctors see approximately 49 patients a day on the average. Now, ladies and gentlemen, that is whipping people through pretty doggone fast.
My first question was how can you possibly do that? One answer was mass examinations. Well, Americans, especially Americans who have been in uniform, don't like the idea of mass examinations. They like a little bit of privacy.
You know, when I saw that figure, 49 patients a day per doctor, I thought about the subway system in Tokyo, where they have the professional packers, and these guys look like former sumo wrestlers to me, maybe they are not. They don't hurt anybody. But when the last Japanese passenger gets on that subway system who can possibly get in, they physically pack the people into the subway, and those big strong packers don't hurt anybody, but they get the last body in. That is kind of the image you get when you think about 49 patients a day going through each doctor's office in Tokyo. So we decided maybe we didn't want to have that kind of socialized medicine.
We looked at Great Britain, where they have socialized medicine. And yet if you are a senior citizen, if you have passed a certain age, and you need a life saving operation, you don't get it. The reason you don't get it is because socialized medicine always operates ineffectively and they run out of money. When they run out of money, their philosophy to senior citizens in Great Britain is, you have lived a long and fruitful life and it is time for you to float from the tree, kind of like a leaf in the autumn time. You have had a full life and we will save these life saving operations for younger people.
That sounds fine if you look at it on paper. But when those senior citizens are your grandparents or your parents, you want to be able to have a chance to save their lives. So Americans have looked at Great Britain, and they do not like that socialized medicine system either.
The President has staked quite a bit on making a health care plan go this year. Although it is clear that a majority of the American people say, wait a minute, we do not want you to rush anything through in the immediacy of this election season. We want you to take your time, if you are going to do health care, because health care is a giant contract with the American people. And I do not think the American people like the 1,300-page document that President Clinton sent down the first time.
You know it took almost a year for the American people to be able to look at enough parts of that document and believe me, like a lot of Members of the House, I was pretty surprised when I would meet people at town hall meetings who had read that entire document, many others who knew the outlines, many others who knew the key provisions.
Americans read these things, folks. Ultimately they find out what we vote on. So we better doggone well read the documents ourselves before we vote on them.
So it took about a year for the American people to read President Clinton's health care plan and read it and understand it so well that there were enough people who objected to the plan that President Clinton, with a 100-seat majority in the House of Representatives being Democrat, could not pass that health care plan.
Republicans did not beat that health care plan. The people of the United States beat that health care plan.
We have got a couple of days until recess. We are told that there is another plan coming up in the House and another plan coming up in the Senate and that we are going to vote on these plans in the next several days. These plans that are comprised of thousands and thousands of pages of regulations, every one of which will have some impact on Americans' lives.
I think that is wrong. I think the Democrat leadership in both bodies knows that it was the time that the American people took to look at this plan, the first plan that President Clinton offered, that caused it to lose and to be dropped, not by Republicans but by Democrats. And I think if we give the same light of day to this second plan, what I call the Gephardt-Clinton plan, named after distinguished majority leader in the House and the Mitchell-Clinton plan, named after the Democrat leader in the Senate, if the American people get a chance to see President Clinton's plan 2 and 3, they will be just as offended and just as put off and just as resistive of these two plans as they were of the first.
Let me talk about just a couple of things with respect to this plan.
First, I saw the exchange between President Clinton and the black entrepreneur Herb Kane, the gentleman who is the president and CEO of Godfather Pizzas. He did a businesslike thing, which I guess is sometimes unfair to do to politicians, especially when they are as smooth as our President is. He said, Mr. President, I am paraphrasing, I have looked at your plan. I am going to have to lay off people under this plan. I am going to have to close down franchises.
And the President said, essentially, to him, and I am paraphrasing the President, I do not know why you just cannot raise the price of your pizzas.
And I noticed on Mr. Kane's face, after the President said that, what I consider to be a pretty naive statement to a businessman who understands you cannot just raise the price of your goods to accommodate added costs, I saw kind of a look of surprise. And later on he told a number of us in the House, he said, if I could get more money for my pizzas, I would be getting it. But the point is, this plan is going to kill jobs. It is going to force me to close down some franchises that are marginal.
And he said another thing that I thought was interesting and goes to the heart of this whole debate. Because this whole debate is developed on the Democrat idea that we are going to make employers, small businesses and larger businesses, pay for all the health care for their employees.
Mr. Kane, once again I am paraphrasing him but I thought this was important, he was asked why he did not think that he owed giving health care or a health care program to every one of his employees. He said, because my first duty to my employees it to give them a job. And sometimes you cannot do both.
That is the point with Clinton 2, with the second Clinton package which is being put together on the Senate side by Senator Mitchell and Clinton 3, the third Clinton package which is being put together by Mr. Gephardt and the Democrat leadership behind closed doors on the House side, these plans are going to kill jobs.
I come from a State in which we have done what we thought were wonderful things for workers. The only thing we forgot to include was a job. We have got a workmen's compensation program in California that allows people to sue for stress and we have had a ton of fraudulent claims for stress. That has not helped workers. It has hurt the good workers because the fraudulent workers have gone out and collected their dollars, and the good workers have kept on working and the good businesses have moved out of California and moved to other States. And there is a continuing exodus.
So with the legislature of California attempting to be so kind to the workers, they forgot one thing. Blue collar workers cannot hire each other. White collar workers cannot hire each other. You have to have a businessman or a businesswomen, a business owner to hire you. And you cannot make the environment so unfriendly to them or so unprofitable or so burdensome that they go out of business,because if they go out of business, you are out of a job.
Well, the Clinton 2 and Clinton 3 health care plans put a lot of folks out of jobs.
Let me tell you how many they put out of jobs. This is an estimate that is taken off the CONSAD study, "Employment Impact of Ways and Means plans and Approximate Impact under the Gephardt Plan.'' The plan that the Democrat leadership is putting together in the House of Representatives is going to destroy almost a million jobs and it is doing to affect many times a million jobs. What do I mean by saying affect?
I mean this: If you have a business that is selling a particular product and they are only making a $20,000-a-year profit on this small business and they discover that the mandated health care plan under President Clinton 2 or 3 or 1 is going to cost them an additional $30,000, then they close up. Let us say they are still making slight profit and they intended to put that profit into giving their employees raises so they could increase productivity. Now they have to forgo the raises because there is no money there to do it with.
When you take money out of the payroll, especially when so many American businesses are having trouble meeting that Friday payroll, you either detract from the amount of money you are paying the present employees or you have to lay off employees. That is what this health care bill is all about. It kills jobs and it degrades jobs.
Let me tell the American people what the CONSAD study says. I want to read the States and I am going to read the numbers of jobs that are lost and the number of jobs that are downgraded because of President Clinton's second plan, that is Clinton-Gephardt.
Alabama, they lose 13,000 jobs; 716,000 jobs affected.
Alaska, Alaska loses 1,200 jobs; 74,000 jobs are affected.
Arizona loses 11,000 jobs; 641,000 jobs are affected.
Arkansas loses 7,000 jobs; 398,000 jobs are affected in Arkansas.
California, my State, loses 108,000 jobs. Over half the jobs that we lost with the aerospace flight are going to be lost with the Clinton health care plan. Over 5 million jobs will be affected.
Colorado, 11,000 jobs are lost; 638,000 jobs are affected.
Connecticut, 15,000 jobs are lost under the Clinton health care plan; 796,000 jobs are affected.
Delaware, 2,800 jobs are lost under the Clinton-Gephardt health care plan; 154,000 jobs are affected.
District of Columbia, 4,900 jobs are lost. That is like a large company leaving the District of Columbia and taking all of its jobs with them, except in this case, the jobs do not go anywhere, they are just destroyed. But under the Clinton-Gephardt health care plan, 4,900 jobs are lost in the District of Columbia; 240,000 jobs are downgraded.
Florida, 41,000 jobs are lost, 2.3 million jobs are downgraded;
Georgia, 23,000 jobs are lost, 1,200,000 jobs are downgraded under the Clinton-Gephardt health care plan.
Idaho, 2,000 jobs are lost, 153,000 jobs affected; Illinois, 47,000 jobs are lost, 2,478,000 jobs are affected, Indiana, 22,000 jobs are lost, 1,168,000 jobs are affected; Iowa, 9,000 jobs are lost, 530,000 jobs are affected.
Kansas, 8,000 jobs are lost, 469,000 jobs are affected or downgraded under the Clinton-Gephardt health care plan; Kentucky, 11,000 jobs are lost, 610,000 jobs are downgraded; Louisiana, 11,000 jobs are lost, 645,000 jobs are downgraded.
Maine, 4,000 jobs are lost, 227,000 jobs are downgraded under the Clinton-Gephardt health care plan; Maryland, 16,000 jobs are lost, 953,000 jobs are downgraded; Massachusetts, 29,000 jobs are lost, 1.4 million jobs are downgraded; Michigan, 36,000 jobs are lost, 1.8 million jobs are downgraded.
Minnesota, 18,000 jobs are lost, 931,000 jobs are downgraded; Mississippi, 7,000 jobs are lost, 375,000 are downgraded; Missouri, 20,000 jobs are lost in Missouri under the Clinton-Gephardt health care plan, and over 1 million jobs are downgraded; Montana, 1,700 jobs are lost in the Big Sky country, 105,000 jobs are downgraded.
Nebraska, 5,000 jobs are lost, 313,000 jobs are downgraded; Nevada, 6,400 jobs are lost, 320,000 jobs are downgraded; New Hampshire, 4,000 jobs lost, 223,000 jobs downgraded, New Jersey, 29,000 jobs lost under the Clinton-Gephardt health care plan, 1.6 million jobs downgraded in New Jersey.
New Mexico, 3,000 jobs lost, 205,000 jobs downgraded; New York, 76,000 jobs lost in New York under the Clinton-Gephardt health care plan, 3.9 million jobs downgraded; North Carolina, 28,000 jobs lost, 1.4 million jobs are downgraded; North Dakota, 1,600 jobs lost, 96,000 jobs downgraded.
Ohio, 44,000 jobs lost, 2.26 million jobs downgraded; Oklahoma, 8,000 jobs lost, 466,000 jobs are downgraded under the Clinton-Gephardt health care plan; Oregon, 8,000 jobs are lost, 499,000 jobs downgraded.
Pennsylvania, here is a whopper, 47,000 jobs are lost in Pennsylvania under Clinton-Gephardt, 2,453,000 jobs are downgraded; Rhode Island, 3,800 jobs lost, 202,000 jobs downgraded; South Carolina, 12,000 jobs lost, 681,000 downgraded; South Dakota, 1,700 jobs lost, 103,000 jobs downgraded under the Clinton-Gephardt health care plan.
Tennessee, 19,000 jobs lost, 987,000 jobs downgraded; Texas, 55,000 jobs lost, 3 million jobs are downgraded. No wonder Texans, Democrat and Republican, have not been happy about this brand of socialized medicine.
Utah, 5,000 jobs lost, 309,000 jobs downgraded; Vermont, 1,800 jobs lost, 102,000 jobs downgraded; Virginia, 21,000 jobs lost, 1.2 million jobs downgraded.
Washington, 16,000 jobs lost, 936,000 jobs downgraded; West Virginia, 4,000 jobs lost, 238,000 jobs downgraded; Wisconsin, 19,000 jobs lost, 1,100,000 jobs are downgraded under the Clinton-Gephardt health care plan. We end up with Wyoming, 930 jobs lost, 60,000 jobs downgraded.
Mr. Speaker, it is clear that this administration and a few Members on the Democrat side are willing to sacrifice American jobs for Government control of health care.
Mr. Speaker, I did not give the figures of jobs that are going to be lost under so-called Clinton-Mitchell, but I would say that it is not going to be much less than the jobs that are lost under Clinton-Gephardt, which are close to 1 million jobs, and there are a couple of other things about the Mitchell plan, the Clinton-Mitchell plan, that I think are important to talk to the American people about.
Mr. Speaker, I want to quote the author of the plan, Senator Mitchell, July 21, 1994. He said these words: ``Our plans will be less bureaucratic,'' he said this, ``more voluntary, and will be phased in over a longer period of time.''
Let me just read to you a few of the 50 new Government agencies that we are going to establish if we pass the Clinton-Mitchell health care plan. Ready to go? Fifty new bureaucracies.
He said this is going to be less bureaucratic and more voluntary. Let me tell you about a few of the non-voluntary bureaucracies which are going to be employing hundreds of thousands of new Federal workers.
We are going to have a National Health Benefits Board. That is section 1211. We are going to have the Health Insurance Purchasing Cooperatives set up by States or local governments. That is section 1321.
There will be the Health Insurance Purchasing Cooperative set up by the Federal Office of Personnel Management, section 1341. We are going to have a National Guaranty Fund for Multi-State Self-Insured Plans.
We are going to have an assistant secretary for the Office of Rural Health Policy. We are going to have a Federal Accreditation, Certification and Enforcement Program. That is going to be called ACE.
We are going to have a State Accreditation, Certification, and Enforcement Program under section 1501. We are going to have a Health Plan Service That is under section 1502.
We are going to have State Risk Adjustment Organizations. That is section 1504. We are going to have an Advisory Committee for Risk Adjustment Programs, section 1504.
We are going to have State Guaranty Funds. That is section 1505. We are going to have State Public Access Sites for Medically Underserved Areas, 1508. We are going to have the Prescription Drug Payment Review Commission, that is section 2004.
Incidentally, Mr. Speaker, let me just say with respect to drugs and the cost of medicines in America, the reason you don't want to have socialized medicine in America is this: An interesting fact that a lot of Americans discovered after the First Lady and the President went on their binge against the companies that develop medicines and cures, we discovered--and this was a surprise to me, and I think to a lot of our constituents across the country, but it is a fact--the United States of America develops more cures for diseases than all the rest of the nations of the world combined.
Isn't that incredible? That means you take Great Britain, France, Germany, Canada, all the rest of these civilized nations, and Third World nations, and you add them all up, and the good old United States of America, that has what the Democrat leadership calls this backward system, produces more cures that save the lives of your family and families around the world that all the rest of these so-called progressive nations, remember, Cuba is in that group, too, combined.
Why do we produce more cures than all the rest of the nations combined? I would submit it is not because Japan does not have great universities, and probably some pretty smart people; it is not because France and Great Britain do not have good universities. It is because none of them have the free enterprise system that we have.
Mr. Speaker, I have a gentleman in San Diego, a friend of mine named Bill Otterson, who suffers from a fairly rare disease. He and some other folks told me about a drug called Intron-A. Intron-A tells you why you do not want to pull the free enterprise system out of the development of medicine.
Intron-A costs $100 million to develop and when they first put it together, when they first took a chance on it and decided to burn up $100 million and bet that it would be a winner, they knew that there was only a small group of Americans initially who would be able to access or use that drug, and that was this very small pool of people who have what is known as hairy cell leukemia, a very unique type of leukemia. There are only about 1,000 folks in the United States who have that brand of leukemia. Yet a group of private investors put $100 million forward to develop this drug called Intron-A. They knew that initially it would take care of folks that had hairy cell leukemia. Of course those folks were pretty happy it was being developed. But they thought it also might, if it succeeded and if their gamble paid off, be able to address 17 or 18 other types of diseases. They were right.
Today Intron-A is used to treat about 17 or 18 major diseases. It is a big success. It brings in about $500 million a year to the United States from countries all over the world that use it. It was developed because we have a free enterprise system. All those people,including people like Bill Otterson who are themselves afflicted with these medical diseases that are treated by these miracle drugs say, ``Please don't socialize medicine'' because if Mrs. Clinton, respectfully, had been around to tell the Intron-A people, ``If you develop Intron-A and put $100 million of your own money into it, I am only going to let you charge $1 a pill when you develop it,'' would it ever have been developed? Would the people who have hairy cell leukemia ever have had a chance to be cured or helped? Would Bill Otterson and the other hundreds of thousands who now use Intron-A to save their lives have a chance to have it? Absolutely not.
Mr. Speaker, the consensus of the medical community, including experts from places likes Johns Hopkins and other great medical centers is, if we socialize medicine and the creation of new medical cures, what the companies will do is simply this: They will go to a system in which they do not take any medical risks, because nobody is going to go out and put $50 million into a drug that you can only get $1 a pill for. So what they will do is they will take our present inventory of drugs and they will incrementally increase the capability of those drugs. They will try to research them a little bit and make them a little bit better, but they will never go out there and try to whip that new disease that nobody has beaten so far. They will not find a cure for cancer. They will not find any of the wonderful cures that America has found under freedom. it is kind of interesting, is it not?
A person does not have to be a wealthy person to understand how very, very important it is to have a free enterprise system in which people go out and take a risk and having taken a risk, they develop a system that saves lives by the thousands, by the tens of thousands, by the millions.
Mr. Speaker, I see my friend, the gentleman from Maryland has come to the floor and I would be happy to yield to him if he wants me to yield.
One more of the many, many reasons we will need Mr. Hunter in the Arena!
Young Duncan should get up and read his father’s speech into the record again.
The more I learn, the more pissed I get about the GOP running with the RINOS PING
He certainly should!!!! Just change the names to Obama-Bacaus and Obama-Pelosi and Obama-reid.
I have noticed that lately, many gop’ers are taking Hunter’s stance in the primary about letting Ins. companies cross state lines to increase competition. Now if a few more would take a few more of his GREAT ideas, we might get somewhere!
I noticed that too. Too bad the majority of gop capons do NOT listen to his advice.
Well spoken by a REAL conservative. Just ANOTHER example of why the man was my guy in the primaries.
Oh! and just wow. He could just give the same speech again.
I so wanted him for President. Thanks to Virginia closing the highway on Primary Night, I never got to vote for him at all.
He just knocked it clean over the fences.
I’d think I died an gone to heaven. At a bare minimum, both men need to be integral parts of the next administration. Preferably in the role you outlined.
I’ll have to ask Hunter about ol Dr. Wheeler.
Other than Reagan, I was never as happy to vote for a guy as I was for Hunter.
Just like they talked about China & the border during the last election season. They ran with his ideas and didn’t give him credit.
What does Levin call those people?
Oh yeah. Backbenchers.
Yet Levin sart on the sidelines while Hunter and Tancredo were in need of some publicity.
That would be great!
I sadly don't think we're full of people like that. Maybe 30% understand the loss. Most are public school indoctrinated since the 60's, and want the security over freedom, IMO, because it actually means less responsibility on their part.
The only way we're going to turn the tide is through person-to-person efforts to enlighten everyone we can.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.