Skip to comments.Republican Weekly Address by George LeMieux
Posted on 10/10/2009 9:11:11 AM PDT by cc2k
Video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkCKjPnpT94
Here is the transcript:
Hello, Im Senator George LeMieux of Florida. Its an honor and privilege to be serving the people of the Sunshine State in the United States Senate.
Weve all seen the headlines and know that one of the biggest issues pending before Congress is health care.
Families in Florida and across America are struggling with the increasing costs of health insurance, and tens of millions Americans have no health insurance at all.
We in the Congress have a duty to tackle this problem, but the solution we settle upon should not be rushed, and the solution should not be worse than the problem we are trying to solve.
Right now, Senate Democrats and White House officials are behind closed doors crafting their final health care overhaul proposal.
While the Democrats in Congress have not yet provided the actual language of their proposed law, we do know enough for Americans to be concerned.
So far, according to the Senate Budget Committee, we know the true cost of this proposal is at least $1.8 trillion over 10 years.
We know it takes nearly $500 billion out of Medicare funding for seniors, and requires our states to shoulder billions more in health care costs, which they can ill-afford to do.
The Democrat-sponsored proposal in the Senate cuts nearly $135 billion from Medicare Advantage, over $150 billion from hospitals that care for seniors, more than $51 billion from home health agencies and hospices, and nearly $70 billion in additional cuts or fee increases.
These cuts would arrive at a time when projections show the Medicare program will be insolvent in less than 8 years.
Taking money from a program already in financial trouble is not responsible; its not fair to our seniors who paid into the program, and its not fair to our children and grandchildren who will be burdened with massive debt obligations.
Another part of this plan would deny millions of people the choice of health plans that best suit their needs by forcing them onto Medicaid. This is contrary to the Presidents promise to give the American people choice.
Not to mention, dramatically expanding Medicaid adds a huge burden to state governments at a time when they can least afford it.
Over the last two years in Florida, we had to cut nearly $8 billion from state programs to meet our states balanced budget requirement.
Unlike the federal government, our states have to balance their budgets, and they cant print more money to pay for programs they cant afford.
Piling on additional obligations would mean even more severe cuts to roads, schools, law enforcement and other essential state services.
Budget neutral doesnt mean forcing states to cut vital programs to make up what the federal government isnt willing to pay.
That is why Americas governors, both Democrat and Republican alike, have voiced their opposition to this plan.
The plan being pushed by Democrats in Congress also adds a new tax burden to our families. President Obama said families earning less than $250,000 a year would not be subject to any tax increases; but this proposal contains a mandate for families to buy insurance.
Failing to comply would mean every adult would have to pay a $750 penalty.
The President says this isnt a tax; I dont buy it. The penalty is paid directly to the IRS when you pay your taxes, and its certainly not optional.
If it looks like a tax, and its paid like a tax, then it is a tax, plain and simple.
There are also new taxes on health insurance providers, manufacturers and importers of medicine, and medical device manufacturers.
Two non-partisan groups unequivocally state that these taxes will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher insurance premiums. It is likely that the current proposal will increase your health insurance costs, not reduce them.
At a time when Americans are struggling to make ends meet and the countrys debt continues to rise, we should not be raising taxes, and we should not be undertaking any proposal which will increase the debt our children will have to pay.
We should especially not be doing these things when the proposals being debated are likely to raise your health insurance costs, not lower them.
Republicans in Congress are willing to work toward targeted steps to broaden health care access and affordability, but we should take some more time get it right, rather than move quickly and get it wrong.
Real reform ought to focus on stopping the estimated $60 billion in Medicare waste, fraud and abuse, and using those funds to care for seniors.
Real reform ought to address portability allowing people to keep their health insurance whether they change jobs or move to a different state.
Real reform ought to reduce the incidence of doctors having to practice defensive medicine ordering a litany of unnecessary and expensive tests in order to avoid frivolous lawsuits.
President Obama has said he wants a budget-neutral, bipartisan bill.
Republicans welcome that effort.
As we prepare to debate the plan in the United States Senate, I remain hopeful we can reach consensus on a proposal that will reduce costs and increase access to health care for those who are uninsured, while protecting the quality of care for all Americans.
Im Senator George LeMieux. Thank you for listening.
Rather than link to a single source, I'm posting the entire transcript. This was sent out from Senator LeMieux's office, most likely as a press release. While the sites that have posted it have copyrights and probably should be excerpted, the common text is the words of Senator George LeMieux from a press release and should be freely available.
For those who wish to read it on another site, check these links:
My only comment to Senator LeMieux, along with all the other Senators, is this: Find something better to do with your time. The Senate shouldn’t even be proposing this. What part of Article 1 Section 7 of the Constitution don’t you Senators understand.
All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives;
I’m shocked that Crist would pick someone just a tad bit more right-leaning than him. I shall be watching you LeMieux.
No, Congressman, you don't.
On the whole, it's a pretty decent speech, but it gets off on the wrong foot. I wish that these idiots, even the best of them, would stop pretending that we need government-enforced healthcare "reform." Of any kind. At all.
Just deal with tort reform (which crazy and corrupt judges have made necessary), and paperwork reduction (which congress imposed in the first place), and insurance regulation reduection (which congress imposed in the first place).
“I remain hopeful we can reach consensus on a proposal that will reduce costs and increase access to health care for those who are uninsured, while protecting the quality of care for all Americans. “
In the end republicans will vote for the HC takeover.
I hope they don’t. Politically it just makes no sense.
If it passes, it will either work or it won’t. It will be popular or it won’t.
If it is, Obama and the dems will benefit and no one will vote for the GOP because they voted for it when they can vote for the dems who actually passed it and whose baby it is.
If it doesn’t work and is unpopular then by voting no the GOP will be a in a perfect position to capitalize whereas if they voted for it the dems would just say “look, they votde for it, too”.
So, strategically the right play is to vote against it and hope the warnings about it come to pass, if it goes well they’re in trouble regardless of whether they supported it or not.