House Republican leaders today held a special press conference to address the impending vote on the Pelosi Health Care Bill, H.R. 4962. The leaders made statements speaking out against the bill (text below):
Republican Leader John Boehner:
Good morning. The American people have spoken and they’ve made it perfectly clear that the health care bill that’s on the floor today, they want no part of. This [points to chart] is an accurate depiction of Speaker Pelosi’s super bureaucracy that’s being created in this bill. At a time when Americans are concerned about the economy, when they’re asking, “where are the jobs,” why would Congress continue down a path of promoting policies that are going to kill jobs in America? And this program that the Speaker is trying to ram through Congress today – on Saturday – will do just that. It will kill jobs. It will raise insurance premiums for Americans. Job-killing mandates in it. Big cuts to Medicare. Exactly the kinds of things that the American people don’t want. Republicans have been offering solutions all year. We believe that our better solution on health care and our ideas that are offered today will lower health insurance premiums in America and expand access. It’s a common sense, step-by-step approach to making our current system work better for more Americans. We're going to do everything we can to try to stop this from becoming law and urge the Speaker to work with us in a bipartisan way to enact common sense, step-by-step reform to make health insurance more affordable for more Americans.
Republican Whip Eric Cantor:
Good morning. As the Leader suggests, there are just a lot of questions being asked about why would we be proceeding down the path today to pass this trillion dollar overhaul of our health care system. And one of the instructive points is to look to see where the bipartisanship really is on this bill. And if you look at it, the bipartisanship is in opposing the Democratic bill on the floor. Here's the first 21 Democratic votes that are going to join us in opposition of Speaker Pelosi's bill and I am sure there will be many more Democrats than just this 21 that will be voting in opposition to the Democratic bill.
I believe that's the case because many Members on both sides of the aisle are listening to the voters who spoke last Tuesday in Virginia, New Jersey and across this country in state and local elections. The message was simple: People have a grave concern about what Washington is doing to them, not for them. And if you look at what goes on on the floor today during this health care debate, there are two very distinct visions of the way forward for this country as far as health care is concerned. There’s one version, as the Leader just pointed out, represented by the Majority’s bill which will put the government between patients and their doctors. The Republican version which won't. There's one version that will impose higher taxes on small businesses while we're expecting them to create jobs. And there's a Republican version that won't. There is one version that will be a massive overhaul and remake the health care that we know into a system that we don't. And there's another version that takes a much more reasoned and smart approach to preserving what works in the system while trying to address what doesn't.
Conference Vice Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers:
All week long the Republican women have been listening to women all across this country, regarding health care reform. Because in most American families, it is the woman who makes the health care decision, whether she is a spouse, whether she is the mom, or whether she is a daughter. We spend two out of every three dollars. Women are also the majority of health care providers, the health care professionals in this country. Ninety-eight percent of home care aides, 90 percent of nurses, and 50 percent of first-year medical students are women. And the message we are hearing from women about this health care bill is that we need to slow down and get this right. Like mom used to say, “you rush and you make mistakes.” We think Speaker Pelosi is rushing to pass this bill and it is the wrong legislation for women. The cuts to Medicare are going to hurt women more than men. The cuts just in Medicare Advantage alone, 4.6 million women will lose their health insurance. The restrictions on treatment options are going to disproportionately impact women. This is the wrong approach. Let’s slow down and pass reforms that will actually help our families.
Rep. Kevin Brady:
Good morning, Kevin Brady, Ranking House Member of the Joint Economic Committee. We developed this chart based on Nancy Pelosi’s new health care plan. We developed the original chart that showed thirty-one new federal agencies, commissions and mandates in between you and your doctor. The new chart shows more than ninety of these new mandates, commissions and agencies. The true number is well over 100, we simply ran out of space. In terms of sheer bureaucracy, if the IRS and Medicare had a baby, it would look like this. And the question is: how is that going to make our health care more affordable? The truth of the matter is, while we’ve read this bill and we’ve identified all these new pilot programs, new grants, new commissions, new financial entities and new demonstration projects, all which are inside the box that’s tied to the original chart, the truth of the matter is no one really understands how this health care bill will work, especially the doctors and the patients who are going to have to live under it.
Rep. Judy Biggert:
Hello. I'm Judy Biggert from the great state of Illinois. My phone has been ringing off the hook all week starting at 7:30 in the morning. That means my constituents have been calling at 6:30 in the morning to voice their concerns about this bill. I can't believe that we have gotten this far. What my constituents are saying, “we want to keep our health care.” And the president promised that, if you like the health care plan you have, you can keep it. And that's not happening. I had an amendment in one of the committees, Education and Labor, it was soundly defeated by every Democrat there. So we're not going to be able to keep our plan, they say. I say that's right, we won't be able to do that. Why are we doing this when we can lower the costs? Make it affordable for everybody, we can have accessibility for those that don't have health care now, and we can keep the quality of health care if we look at the alternative GOP plan.
Conference Chairman Mike Pence:
The American people want health care reform, but the American people don't want that [points to chart]. Republicans have been listening to the American people throughout this year. And we've heard the families, small businesses, and family farms of this country want to see us take decisive action to lower the costs of health insurance and lower the costs of health care in the long term.
Astoundingly, Democrats are bringing to the floor a bill today that will not reduce the costs of health insurance, it will grow the size of government. And now we're going see what their majority is made of. Particularly we're going to see with those who profess to be conservative Democrats what they are made of.
In a few moments, I'm going to jump in the car and drive down to the World War II Memorial. There's a group of Hoosiers that are making their way to that memorial as we speak, some of whom are making their first and probably only visit to a memorial that was built in their honor. I will take all the time they need to shake every hand and thank every hero for what they did for freedom. They risked their lives for freedom. We will find out today if enough conservative Democrats are willing to vote no for freedom.