Repeal of the Affordable Care Act
January 06, 2011
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia: Thank you, and I appreciate your hard work. Thank you for organizing this Special Order so we can discuss the problems with repealing health care.
You have gone all through the need for health care during your life and how the bill provides assistance for those with preexisting conditions. It limits insurance company abuses, like what's called a ``recision,'' when you have paid your premiums all these years and then finally get sick, and they want to cancel your policy right when you need it. There are lifetime and annual limits on benefits where they pay a certain amount, and once they get to that, you can be in the middle of a treatment, and they're not going to pay another dime for the rest of your life or at least for the rest of that year. There are many people with chronic diseases who hit up upon these limits very frequently.
You have talked about young people on their parents' policies, who are working, who finally get jobs. They don't cover benefits. Up to 26 years old, they can stay on their parents' policies.
We have talked about prevention, the importance of prevention. A lot of people, because of copayments and deductibles, can't afford their annual checkups. This bill provides for annual checkups without copayments and deductibles.
For those senior citizens in the doughnut hole, where they get no benefits, adding insult to injury, they have to continue paying their premiums, and get no benefit. We have assistance for them.
It is outrageous that they would elect to try to repeal this. No hearings. No nothing. Just put a label on it and call it ``ObamaCare'' and then expect people to go along with the repeal. You just can't label things
and expect people, by virtue of the label, to take action. They call it ``government-run health care.'' No. Government-run health care was the single-payer plan. That was defeated.
The option of a public option would have been nice. People talk about choice. Well, in the plan that's on the books today, they have the choice of all the plans of anybody who wants to sell insurance in their States. They have a choice of all of them. It would be nice to have an additional choice--a choice of a public option where you have the choice of a policy that is not run by a for-profit corporation with a financial interest in denying you coverage or canceling your policy. It would be nice to have that option. You don't have to pick it, but it's just nice to have that option.
One of the things that we want to make sure is that we have as many options as possible, including a public option if we can ever get there; but when we talk about repeal and replace, there is no replace tomorrow in the rule that they are suggesting. They just want it repealed. We want to know what they're going to replace it with and what they're going to leave out.
Are they going to leave out the part where people with preexisting conditions can get covered? Are they going to say, ``No, you can't get covered''? Does the insurance company get to decide who has the privilege? Are health insurance companies going to tell young people under 26 to get off their parents' policies? Are they going to tell those in the doughnut hole to get back in the doughnut hole where they belong? Are they going to talk about those who can't afford prevention to get prevention? Are they going to tell those who are going to run out of coverage because of the limits, ``No, that's enough. You've had enough, and you can't get any more coverage''?
What are they going to tell all of these people?
We need to make sure that we keep this policy, all of these provisions, intact. I have no idea what they want to replace it with, but I think, if they went step by step and if the people looked at the provisions of the bill, they would elect to keep everything that's in the bill today.
Now, there are some things that people don't like. When you have a good plan, you have to pay for it. Unfortunately, they're not paying for it. We were fiscally responsible. When we passed it, we were under PAYGO. They've repealed a lot of that so that they can go trillions of dollars in the ditch without paying for it. We paid for it. In fact, the CBO originally said that the first 10 years of the program would reduce the deficit by $140 billion. Now the estimate is $200-some billion in the next 10 years. So it is fiscally responsible.
There are things we can do better together than everybody out for their own. We need to oppose the repeal of this health care to make sure that people have the protections and the Patients' Bill of Rights that they have under this legislation.