Affordable Health Care For America Act

Floor Speech

Date: Nov. 7, 2009
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DEAL of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this bill, and I express three major concerns.

First of all, I raise a question. The question is: what authority in the United States Constitution gives this Congress the right to mandate that every citizen must purchase a health insurance policy, and upon failing to do so, shall be fined and possibly imprisoned? I think the answer to that question is, there is no such congressional authority.

Secondly, make no mistake about it, illegal aliens will receive government-funded health care under this because all they are required to show is a Social Security number and a name. There is no way to prevent the same Social Security number from being used by numerous individuals, and there is no requirement that a picture ID be produced in order to prove that the person is in fact the name that appears on the Social Security card. If you think identity theft is a problem now, just wait until this bill passes.

Thirdly, this bill requires States to increase their Medicaid rolls to 150 percent of the Federal poverty level. In an ever-increasing fashion, States will have to absorb the cost of this burden. I offered an amendment which would have allowed States to opt out from under this mandate, but it has been rejected. In States like mine, where we have to balance our budget, right now schoolteachers and law enforcement officers are having to take unfunded furlough days. If this bill passes, it will get even worse. We should not be passing a bill that takes days and money out of the paychecks of teachers and law enforcement officers to pay for this piece of legislation.