Public Health Service Act Amendment

Floor Speech

Date: May 4, 2017
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today to urge my colleagues to support the American Health Care Act.

A constituent of mine from Kentucky personally reached out to share her story. Under ObamaCare, the cost of her family's monthly premium rose to over $1,000 with a deductible of over $12,000, in total, almost half her income. When she fell and broke three ribs, she couldn't afford to go to the emergency room because of the astronomical deductible. She suffered for weeks until as she could afford care; and as she said in her own words: ``I paid 50 percent of my income for something I am forced to buy and cannot use.''

In Kentucky, there are many counties with just one health insurer on the exchange. That is not right. Affordable health care means having real access to health care when you need it. ObamaCare reduces access.

It is not there, when they need it, for many Americans.

I urge my colleagues to support the American Health Care Act.

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Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, what I want to talk about is what is underlying in this bill in the traditional reform in Medicaid.
Medicaid currently costs State and Federal Governments $600 billion.

It is estimated in 10 years--a decade--to cost a trillion dollars. It is a system that is set up to implode on itself.
So we want to fix the problem before we get to the critical point where it is going to implode. Let's fix it now, and let's make it right.

What we do is allow States to have the same money they had in 2016-- the exact same money--with growth. The growth would be the CPI, medical, and, in some categories, plus one. They also have growth in demographics. We have some people who retire to other States. They have a concern. What if I am from a State where somebody lives in an area and then they move to my State when they are older and typically cost more in the Medicaid system? We adjust for that. It is in the per capita allotment. As they move, they would transfer. It is not a traditional block grant, unless the State chooses to do so.

We are here reforming an entitlement program for the first time since the 1990s. It is a very sound, solid way, and a way that preserves and protects the program and prevents the program from imploding on itself within a decade.

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Mr. Speaker, I am surprised that my friends on the other side are defending the ObamaCare age tax, which is a tax on young people. I am the right demographic for it.

This is how it works: people from age 26 to 34 pay more so people from age 50 to 64 pay less.
Think about this: I am 53. In 3 years, I will be 56, my daughter will be 26. What I am asking her to do and what we are asking her to do if we don't repeal this is, as you are wanting to buy a house, get married--she got married--buy a house, start a family, get her family moving forward, we are going to say: But we want you to pay more for your health care so I can pay less.

That is what they are doing. They are having parents have their children pay more so they can pay less. With all of us, I think we want our children, as they start their families, start their life, to have more breaks, not put another burden on them.

I defend the fact that we are giving tax relief to young people, for people from age 26 to 34, who can least afford the premiums that we are putting on them.

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