Hoyer: Republicans Try To Repeal Health Care Benefits, Still No Focus On Jobs Or Economy

For Immediate Release:

July 11, 2012

Contact:

Daniel Reilly, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today in opposition to yet another Republican bill that would take away health care benefits and patient protections for millions of Americans instead of creating jobs or improving our economy.  Below are his remarks and a link to the video:   

Click here to watch the video.

“‘Repeal it and replace it.’ For the 31st time we have a repeal with no replacement. No alternative. No protection offered by my Republican colleagues. Not one. You could of course introduce legislation that said, ‘we're going to repeal and replace with this.’ You haven't done it. You haven't done it. So the American people have no idea.

“We're on the Floor today with the distinguished gentleman from Michigan [Rep. John Dingell] who himself and his father before him said, a half a century before, Americans need the security of having the guarantee of access to affordable, quality health care. That's what we did.

“Madam Speaker, after the landmark Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act, Americans are ready to move on. Yet here we are again, voting for the 31st time on a bill to repeal the health care law with no replacement, no alternative, no protections. That's not what we ought to be focused on. Americans want to work -- to create jobs and to grow our economy.

“According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll last week, 56% of Americans believe that opponents of the law should drop attempts to block its implementation. It's time for Republicans to end their relentless obsession with taking away health care benefits from millions of Americans.

“If this bill were to pass, insurance companies could once again discriminate against 17 million children with pre-existing conditions. If it were to pass, 30 million Americans would lose their health insurance coverage. It would take away $651 each from 5.3 million seniors in the Medicare ‘donut hole,’ making their prescription drugs more expensive.  360,000 small businesses would no longer be able to claim a tax credit to help cover their employees. And 6.6 million young adults under 26 would be forced off their parents' plans, left to face a tough job market with the added pressure of being uninsured.

“The Republican repeal bill would take away these benefits and end these cost-saving measures. And after 31 votes, as I said, no alternative. Nothing, no bill to read, no plan to follow, no security to offer. Repealing health care without an alternative would add over $1 trillion to deficits over the next two decades. I don't say that. The Congressional Budget Office says that.

“It is occurring in place of a vote we could be taking on legislation to create jobs. Nothing about jobs this week. Nothing last week. Nothing scheduled for next week. Or the week after. It's a waste of time. Why is it a waste of time? The Republican majority knows it will not pass the United States Senate and it would not be signed by the President of the United States. So it's a message bill. It's politics as usual – spurring the base while spurning the average working American.

“I outlined several proposals yesterday that are bipartisan in nature. It ought to come to this Floor immediately. It's called Make It In America. Let's vote on those bills. Let's vote on those bills to create opportunities, not this one to take them away.

“Madam Speaker, I ask my colleagues to oppose this bill and let us work together constructively for a better economic future for our people, more economic security, more health care security and a better America, and I yield back the balance of my time.”

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