tv House Session CSPAN November 15, 2013 9:00am-11:01am EST
would experiment with a combination -- more people under medicaid and millions of people under private insurance. help those who could not afford private insurance to help them get it you are not eligible for medicaid. this was an experiment, a very american experiment to see if we could combine forces to make it work. host: sander levin has been our guest. thank you. the house of representatives. copal church, alexandria, irginia. the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c., november 15, 2013, i hereby appoint the honorable steve womack to act
as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: now the prayer will be offered by our guest chaplain the reverend orrin warder, from st. paul's episcopal church from alexandria, virginia. the chaplain: let us pray, god of the universe you have created us and given us life. blessed are you god of this earth. you have set our world like a radiant jewel in the 111th and filled it with beauty and hope. blessed are you god of these united states of america for all the lessons of our past, for all that remains for us to do. blessed are you god of truth and justice, guide the men and women of this house of representatives. grant them insight, courage, compassion, and imagination.
protect them from corruption and arrogance. and grant that we whom they seek to serve may give them the support that they need. increase our trust in one another, strengthen our quest for justice, and bring us to unity and a common purpose. blessed are you god of the universe and blessed are we your people. amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his pproval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. >> mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina. >> mr. speaker, pursuant to clause 1, rule 1, i demand a vote on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal, so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. journal stands approved. mr. holding: mr. speaker, i object to the vote on the grounds a quorum is not present
and make a point of order a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question are postponed. the pledge of allegiance will be offered by the gentleman from california, mr. mcclintock. mr. mcclintock: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain up to five requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman seek unanimous consent? >> i do. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. mcclintock: mr. speaker, yesterday we heard yet another empty promise from the president that by fiat he can delay provisions of law under obamacare that have already crossed the staggering five
million americans their health insurance. now notice he's not changed the law, he has simply said he will ignore the law and he envites health insurers to do the same. this is a constitutional abomination. we live in a nation of laws and not of men. the principal constitutional responsibility of the president is to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. if a law is bad, we change that law, we don't ignore it. as practical matter the president's announcement has no effect. since the law hasn't changed, the criminal and civil liability that a health insurer would incur for disowe cage it has not changed, either. the president has crewly given people false hope while severely damaging the fundamental concept that separates democracy from despotism, the rule of law. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
chair reminds members to refrain from making improper references to the president. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i stand in support of the wind power industry and production tax credit. the p.t.c. has been instrumental in helping to create jobs. the wind industry now supports 80,000 american jobs in 44 states. last week a bipartisan governors wind energy coalition wrote to the leaders of both chambers of congress asking for multiyear extension of the p.t.c., they confirmed that due to the delayed extension of the p.t.c. in 2013, only one wind turbine was installed in the first six months of this year, a 99% decrease from the $25 billion invested in 2012. mr. mcnerney: a year and a half ago, the american wind energy association commissioned a report that found a four-year extension of the p.t.c. would
secure some 54,000 jobs. the p.t.c. expiration has -- ted in an average 81%p 81% decrease in wind energy installations. democrats and republicans have repeatedly come together to extend the p.t.c. that cooperation is needed again. i urge my colleagues to support american jobs by supporting a multi-year extension of the production tax credit. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from illinois is ecognized. >> mr. speaker, today i rise and stand here on behalf of my colleague and friend, john shimkus, to congratulate the edwardsville high school boys soccer team for winning the ihsa state championship for the second time in school history. he team, led by coach mark
heidershy had a rough stretch in the seen going 30-2-2 but they persevered and ended the season on a 15-game winning streak. they stunned the tournament favorite by scoring three goals in a 12-minute span to win 3-1. in the finals against wheeling, edwardsville was led by tough defense and held on for a thrilling 2-1 win to be crowned state champions. mr. davis: congratulations to the players, coaches, families of edwardsville high school boys soccer team. best of luck for a repeat next year. go, tigers. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? it >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from illinois is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker. when i was elected to congress, i pledged to my constituents i would come to washington to be a problem solver and offer solutions, in this spirit i introduced the biofuels
development act. this legislation will create american jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. the goal is simple. establish a $25 million pilot program for the air force to make competitive grants supporting research and development, education and training, to produce biobased aviation fuel for use for the air force. mr. enyart: in addition, this initiative is paid for, i repeat paid for, using unobligated funds from the afghanistan infrastructure fund. in southern illinois the potential for this approach is tremendous. my district is home to a vie brat agricultural economy, as well as scott air force base f this legislation became law, a great partnership between those two communities, would produce tremendous results with a positive ripple effect throughout the local and national economy. it is high time for this body to focus on rebuilding our
economy, putting americans back to work. i urge my colleagues to join me in support of this important legislation. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from alabama is recognized. >> mr. speaker, america's veterans protect america and our liberties, which begs the question, does obamacare keep our promises and obligations to veterans? mr. brooks: marcus lankford, a veteran from huntsville, alabama, wrote me the following, quote. i'm a married father of two and disabled vet after three tours in iraq and over two years in afghanistan supporting our military. my health care costs are $399 a month. but because of the affordable health care act, my bill will go up to $741 a month as of january, 2014, end quote. mr. speaker, america's veterans deserve better than the 60% increase in health care costs that the white house and its
democrat congressional allies obstinately impose on hardworking americans like marcus lankford. the way to do better is to repeal obamacare so america can debate health care solutions based on truth not deception. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for one minute. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. republicans are at it again. instead of working together with democrats and agreeing to plan that will actually help improve the affordable care act, they are once again planning another vote to repeal the law. don't buy into the g.o.p. spin that they are offering the solution to address the insurance policies that have not been renewed by insurance companies. the president announced yesterday that he's offering an administrative solution that will allow insurers to continue to renew existing policies. the president has made clear he's willing to work to address
the a.c.a.'s challenges, yet republicans are working to destroy it once again. they can try to paint this plan in a different color, call it by a different name, and dress it up any way they like, but don't be fooled. this is just the 46th republican attempt to strip americans of their access to affordable health insurance. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i seek unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. holding: mr. speaker, i rise to share a story from a constituent of mine in cary, north carolina, about the real impact that obamacare has had on him and his family. he's an independent businessman, diagnosed with leukemia. he wrote that his income has fluctuated in recent years because the disease limits his work capacity. medical costs have skyrocketed for his chemotherapy and other treatment, but have well covered by his current provider. mr. speaker, after about 10 years of care under the same health care plan, he received a
notice that his current policy covering his family of four is eing terminated. though obamacare client approved replacement moon will increase their premium by 77% or $9,000 per year. this is a serious financial challenge for them and they may have to sell their home. mr. speaker, after everything this man has already been through, he now has to deal with the frustration and uncertainty of this administration's back and forth policy. this is not what he and the american people were promised by the president, and it is simply unacceptable. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady from texas is recognized. ms. jackson lee: one of my colleagues this morning talked about creating jobs. and i'm delighted to be one of those who saw and advocated in the affordable care act the expanse of service and use on
behalf of the american people. first, as a woman let me say for women the affordable care act will take away forever this dastardly assessment that pregnancy was a pre-existing disease. the lifetime caps will be removed for women. the costs are going down for women. in fact, a small business owner indicated that she was going to save $10,000 on her insurance and this creates jobs. scholarships for medical professionals, doctors, nurses, an expanse of the federally qualified clinics. the affordable care act is here to stay with consumer protection that is will provide for the right kind of health care for the american people. don't be fooled. it is going to be the civil rights legislation of the 21st century. women giving dignity, children provided for health care, seniors not denied health care. i'm delighted that this particular legislation is going to be what we desire it to be, civil rights and health care
for all america. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from illinois is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker. yesterday the president said something interesting when describing his attempt to -- of his administration to have an impact, and when describing his strussstration with the federal government, he described it this way, he said it is cumbersome, complicated, and outdated isn't that an interesting revelation? isn't that a stark contrast with the private sector? wouldn't it have been helpful if the president recognized that during the entire debate object obamacare, because here's the irony and it's a dark sad irony and it's this. million roskam: i have a constituent named diane whose covered has dropped from $368 a month, it's almost doubled. she was told her coverage is gone based on obamacare and
being migrated in a new system. this is an 11-year breast cancer survivor who liked her coverage and no longer has it. she doesn't want an administrative remedy. she wants a legislative remedy. she has confidence in this house to get it done, not the white house to get it done. we need to do this work. we need to pass the upton bill today. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognize snigs -- recognition? mr. burgess: mr. speaker, by the direction of the committee on rules, i call up house resolution 413 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 73, house resolution 413. resolved, that upon adoption of this resolution, it shall be in order to consider in the house the bill, h.r. 3350, to authorize health insurance issuers to continue to offer for sale current individual health insurance coverage in satisfaction of minimum essential health insurance coverage requirement, and for
other purposes. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. the bill shall be considered as read. all points of order against provisions in the bill are waived. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and on any amendment thereto to final passage without intervening motion except, one, one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on energy and commerce, and, two, one motion to recommit. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for one hour. mr. burgess: mr. speaker, for the purposes of debate only, i yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. during consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for the purpose of debate only. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. burgess: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. burgess: mr. speaker, house resolution 413 provides for consideration of h.r. 3350, the
keep your plan act of 2013. the rule provides for one hour of debate controlled by the committee on energy and commerce equally divided between the majority and minority. because the bill addresses a targeted emergency situation caused by the lack of foresight in the affordable care act, namely the cancellation of millions of existing health insurance plans despite repeated promises to the contrary, because of that, the rule makes no amendments in order. however, the minority is afforded the customary opportunity to offer one motion to recommit should they so choose. this is a fair rule to allow us to give some relief to americans who fuelly want to keep their health insurance plan -- actually want to keep their health insurance plan but are told because of the affordable care act they may not. we are now six weeks into the disastrous launch of the president's signature health care law, and more and more problems are uncovered with
each succeeding day. it seems that the president has quickly forgotten all of the promises made over the past four years to the american people about this law. in 2009, a speech before the american medical association, president obama stated, we will keep this promise to the american people -- if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, period. if you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan, period. no one will take that away no matter what, closed quote. at the end of september, the president said, the first thing you need to know is this -- if you already have health care, you don't have to do anything, closed quote. americans from across the country, from across the ideological spectrum, agree that president obama has broken this fundamental promise and
now his attempts to reconcile this broken promise only serve to bring further confusion and chaos. today, h.r. 3350 offers a real solution. the bill would allow plans available on the individual market today to be offered in calendar year 2014. it would provide millions of americans the opportunity to keep their health care plan in 2014. the bill would also ensure that americans keeping their plans would not face a penalty under obamacare's individual mandate. mr. speaker, i've heard from constituents about the problems that they have faced because of the president's law. a texan from flower mound, texas, recently wrote me about how her insurance has doubled in recent years because of the affordable care act. in short, she wrote me that, quote, i miss 2009 when our
family health care was affordable, closed quote. millions of americans just like this texan are losing their health care coverage. they're facing massive increases in their premiums and losing access to their care, losing access to their doctor under the affordable care act. the associated press has reported that over 3 1/2 million people on the individual insurance market have had their insurance canceled. let me restate that. the associated press has reported that over 3 1/2 million people on the individual insurance market have had their health care plans canceled. we learned just this week the number of people who successfully signed up under the president's website for the affordable care act, under 27,000. 3 1/2 million lose their insurance. 27,000 sign up. doesn't sound like a fair tradeoff. this is not the first time that the president has realized that his signature law is
significantly flawed. since the law was passed, the president has signed seven bills into law that have repealed portions of the affordable care act. those were laws passed by the house, passed by the senate, sent down to the white house for signature the way it is supposed to happen in a constitutional republic. but in addition to these statutory changes that were passed by the congress and sent down to the president for his signature, the president has taken it upon himself to issue a multitude of administrative fixes to the law. and now this same president wants to once again fix his own law? can we really trust the administration that wrote this disastrous issue in the first place and so mishandled the implementation, do we trust them to now fix it? do we trust them not to change their minds in two or three weeks' time when perhaps winds are blowing from a different direction?
the white house is saying that it will use its administrative authority to allow health plans that it deemed illegal to now still be able to be sold, but this bill that the house is considering today provides a fix that is both constitutional and follows the legal process. h.r. 3350 offers a legislative solution to help americans get a life boat, a life raft out frund the crushing weight of -- from under the crushing weight of this law. it would grandfather all existing health insurance plan. no american would lose their coverage as a result of the affordable care act. president obama is shifting the blame. he's saying it's up to states and the state insurance commissioners to fix his problem, the massive problem that his signature law has created for millions of americans who are losing their health insurance. his attempt at another fix is quickly coming to a halt. just hours after the president's announcement, washington state insurance commissioner announced that he
will not allow insurance companies to continue offering the canceled plans. quoting again, we will not be allowing insurance companies to extend their policies. i believe this is in the best interest of the health insurance market in washington, closed quote. it is clear, h.r. 3350 offers the only feasible lifeline to millions of americans who are crying out for our help. they want to keep their health care plan. it's our job, it's the job of the congress to protect the american people from the excesses of this administration, and i urge my colleagues to pass this rule so americans will have the opportunity to keep their health care plan. let's be very clear here, this bill today cannot fix the affordable care act. what has been visited upon the american people in the affordable care act will not be resolved by this action today. it is merely to stop the bleeding.
it's an efforted triage to stabilize the patient. maybe then we can get the patient to the operating room and fix the problem. the bill we are voting on today stops that hemorrhaging, hemorrhaging that's occurring of the consequence of the ill conceived takeover of the health care industry. any triage doctor knows before they can treat or cure the patient they have to deal with the immediate problems. in this case, they have to stop the hemorrhage of people losing their private health insurance because of the affordable care act. that is what the house of representatives will do today. that's what house republicans will be voting in favor of. i hope that our colleagues across the aisle will see the wisdom in this and join us. i encourage everyone in this house to vote yes on the rule and yes on the underlying bill. let's stand with millions of americans who are visited daily by cancellation notices in their mailboxes. despite the promises made to
them, they are losing their insurance because of this disastrous law. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time is reserved. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, i want to thank the gentleman from texas, mr. burgess, for giving me the time. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, i rise in strong, strong opposition to this closed rule and to the underlying bill. in is effort number 46, by my count, to gut the affordable care act. now, before i discuss the problems with the underlying bill, let me address just so the record is clear the latest example of lousy process foisted upon this house by the republican leadership. the bill before us today would make sweeping and significant changes to the affordable care act and thus to the nation's health care system. it would profoundly affect the lives of millions of americans.
up end the individual market and add confusion and uncertainty into an already complicated situation. so how many hearings did the republicans hold on this bill? zero. let me repeat that. zero. how many expert witnesses did they call? zip. how many markups did they have in the committees of jurisdiction? nada. yet again, republican promises of regular order and a thoughtful legislative process have been thrown out the window, and with all due respect to my friend from texas , to stand here and say with a straight face that this is some kind of an emergency, we can't have any amendments made in order, we just don't have the time defies comprehension. we have a rule that is closed that allows one hour of debate. not even split amongst the
committees of jurisdiction. this bill, by right, is not only an energy and commerce bill, it's a ways and means bill. but the ways and means committee doesn't get any time to debate this bill. one hour. you mean, we couldn't have two hours of debate and a few amendments, or three hours of debate and a few more amendments or five hours of debate or a whole day of debate, given the fact you didn't hold any hearings on this bill? give me a break. this is not the way to run the house of representatives. this is not the way you promised you would run the house of representatives. and by contrast, the affordable care act, we had hundreds of hours of debate and markups in which republican amendments were actually accepted. now, you may not like the affordable care act, but it went through a process. now, this went through no process. this was just brought up to the rules committee and we're told
to bring it right to the floor. this is not a serious attempt to fix the affordable care act. this is a political statement. and i understand the temptation behind it. believe me, no one is more frustrated by the problems with the rollout of the affordable care act than those of us who voted for it, believe in it and want it to work. but instead of working with us to fry to actually fix problems -- try to actually fix problems and make the law work, the republicans have brought up -- have brought forth this upton bill. mr. speaker, let me be very clear about this bill. it is an attempt to drag us back to the bad old days of the american health care system. it would allow insurance companies to go back to offering cut rate, shoddy policies that lack the consumer protections required by the affordable care act. so if you want to go back to a system where insurance companies could turn people away because they're sick, by all means, vote for this bill.
if you want to go back to a time when women were charged higher rates than men because being a female counted as a pre-existing condition, then vote for the upton bill. if you want -- if you believe that insurers will be allowed to eliminate somebody's coverage because they get sick or older or have a child, then the upton bill is for you. in short, a vote for the upton bill is a vote in favor of everything the american people say they hate about the health care system in this country. yesterday in the rules committee, my friend, dr. burgess, made it very clear that the upton bill is not an attempt to fix the affordable care act. they are only interested in full repeal. they are perfectly satisfied with 40 million americans having no health insurance at all. and speaker boehner made a similar statement yesterday. as i said, the rollout of the health care plan has not been perfect, and i know that my home state of massachusetts,
the rollout of our state health care law was not perfect either, but democrats in massachusetts did not go out of their way over and over and over and over again to sabotage it just because the republican governor named mitt romney signed it into law. we worked to make it better. and by 2009, i am proud to say that my congressional district had the highest rate of insurance coverage in the entire country. that's a good thing. that's a good thing. . my republican friends think we are going to go back to a system where we did the right thing but ended up paying for the uncompensated care for people in texas or north carolina or utah or anywhere else, they are wrong. at some point we have to get serious about the goal of providing good, quality, affordable health insurance to every american. the upton bill gets us no closer to that goal.
it is yet another political waste of time. mr. speaker, let me just close by making this observation. what this debate is about, and it's turned into an ideological debate, is whether or not you believe that every single american in this country is entitled to good quality health insurance. or not. my friends on the other side of the aisle obviously believe that it's ok that 40 million americans have health insurance, because for the last few years they haven't offered anything other than repeal, repeal, repeal, repeal, and offering nothing as a substitute. they think it's ok to let the insurance companies decide whether you get health care or not based on a pre-existing condition, or whether you're a female or whether or not you are too old or too sick or whatever. they have been perfectly satisfied with the broken system that was in place.
so, that's the choice here. i urge my colleagues to understand that there's something wrong with the fact that in the greatest country in the world, and the richest country in the history of the world, that so many of our fellow citizens have no care. don't have access to health insurance. and we can fix that. and by fixing that we not only improve the quality of life for our neighbors, our friends, our fellow citizens, but you know what? we also help control health care costs. because one of the biggest drivers of increased health care costs is the uncompensated care pool. so let's get serious. let's stop this political posturing. i know you don't like the president. you have gone out of your way to say some things that are so outrageous it's hard for me to believe that members of congress would say such things. but get over it. and do what's right for the american people. vote no on this closed rule and
vote no on the underlying bill. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time is reserved. the gentleman from texas. mr. burgess: i yield myself a minute to respond. first off i do need to point out that yesterday the president of the united states thought that this situation represented an emergency that required his immediate attention and he rushed to press conference at high noon yesterday to announce his resolution for the problem. as far as the issue of hearings, i will submit for the record a list of eight hearings that were held in the energy and commerce committee over calendar year 2013. i will not yield because my -- -- on the issue of reclaiming my time. the most important thing i wish to point out and for those of us who were here in 2009, we will remember h.r. 3200 was the democratic health care reform bill. that bill is now lost forever in the vapor, in the ether. no one knows what became of it.
h.r. 3590 passed the house of representatives july of 2009, passed as a housing bill. went over to the senate to await further action. further action was an amendment by harry reid late in december of 2009. strike all after the enacting clause an insert. all the housing language was taken out. all of the health care language -- i yield 30 seconds. as a consequence, this bill came over to the house and we just simply had to pass it. we had to pass it before we found out what was in it. we didn't have a hearing on h.r. 3590. we didn't have a markup in any committee i sat in in 2010 on 3590. this was a bill that was visited upon the american people without the due cautious exercise of the united states house of representatives. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from minnesota, mr. klein. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota is recognized for two minutes. mr. klein: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank -- mr. kline: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yeelingd on this issue.
dr. burgess has been championing real solutions for over 10 years. mr. speaker, 140,000, that's the number of people from my home state of minnesota who have been notified their health coverage will be canceled as a result of the president's health care law. john, a constituent, recently learned his own health plan is no longer available. john liked the plan he had and now has to pay 20% more to secure coverage. for many people, a cancellation notice means more than the loss of an insurance policy, it means losing access to the trusted doctors, pediatricians, nurses who care for their families. we all know how critical these relationships are, especially in difficult moments when a loved one is injured or ill. but for countless families, those relationships will soon be lost. all because washington bureaucrats think they know best. the president promised time and again if people like their health care plan, they could keep it.
but the american people are discovering the president failed to keep his word, leaving them with only political gimmicks and a broken website. the president may have apologized, we appreciate that, but the country deserves a president who not only admits when he is wrong but does what is necessary to make it right. that is why i support this legislation, to keep your health plan act is about fairness. it's only fair to let people keep the health plan they like. no one should be forced to purchase a more expensive policy because the president says so. it's only fair to help families who are hurting across the country. the president's plan for more administrative tricks is a disservice to each and every one of our constituents. it's only fair to hold the president accountable for the promises he made to the american people. if the president's sincere about undoing some of the damage his law has created, if he wants to provide real solutions for those losing their coverage and keep his promise to our nation's families, i urge the president to support the keep your health plan act. i yield back the balance of my time.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, let me again remind my colleagues, there is not a single hearing held on this bill. no a single markup was held on this bill. nothing. nothing. and it's coming to the floor under a closed rule. my republican friends believe that nobody in this house, democrats or republicans, have any right to offer an opinion or an alternative. we are given one hour of debate on this, even -- it's not even evenly split among the committees of jurisdiction. one committee of jurisdiction. this is a joke. this is not what you promised. this is not the open process, this is not the transparent process on major pieces of legislation that we were promised. this is a joke. i ask unanimous consent, mr. speaker, to have admitted into the record a statement of administration policy that says that the president will presented with h.r. 3350, he would veto it. at this time i yield three
minutes to the the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady texas is recognized for three minutes. ms. jackson lee: i thank the distinguished gentleman. today, mr. speaker, i rise to save lives. to ensure the affordable care act does what it was intended to do and already doing. lifting the lifetime caps, providing preventive care, taking away the discrimination against women and others with -- other ethnic minorities by eliminating health disparities. this is a bill that has seen eons of hearings not only in the underlying committee, but also in the judiciary committee and other committees, and ad hoc hearings and briefings, over and over again. i remember sitting and hearing the painful stories of families of children who died because they could not get access to health care. but the upton bill comes today disguised as a sheep in wolf's clothing. it discriminates against people with pre-existing conditions. it restores annual caps on the amount of care you can receive. and it forces women to pay more than men for the same coverage. this bill is not a fix.
it is a dissolver of a good bill. by the way, mr. speaker, let me inform my colleagues that there was nothing in the affordable care act that dictated to insurance companies they had to send cancellation letters. why don't we hold a hearing and call the c.e.o.'s of the insurance companies and ask them why they didn't send the normal letter of indicating that you have the opportunity to have a modified policy that will comply with the affordable care act. your policies are not canceled. because these individuals did not not pay their premium. ask that question. i will tell you that there are health professionals and organizations that believe this particular bill will not work and that is the american cancer society and american diabetes society. i ask unanimous consent to put this into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. jackson lee: i agree with my colleague, there should have been an open rule. and the reason that there should have been an open rule because i had an amendment that indicated that the conditions
specified in the subsection for health insurance issuer, they must notify enrollees eligible for such continued coverage. i'm glad the president yesterday put that language in, and also said you can opt in to your old policy. we have answered the call and concern of the american people, but we have not taken away from them the right to have consumer protections and insurance coverage that will make their lives better. i would also suggest that my amendment that indicated health insurance companies are making decisions based on the bottom line, self-interest, and have decided to terminate insurance plans that are not profitable in the new highly competitive marketplace for health insurance, or want to end insurance of those who are ill and thereby increase their profit margin by keeping only the healthy and marginally healthy should have been included. because we need to speak to our friends in the insurance industry that -- health insurance industry we are here working together and that those letters were not necessary. mr. speaker, i want to save
lives. i want consumer protection. i want women not to be discriminated against. tomorrow in houston we are opening the doors for enroll n-a health fair we hope thousands will come to. my friends, the upton bill does not answer the question. let us save lives today. mr. speaker, if i might, just -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. mcgovern: i yield 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for an additional 30 sefpblgts ms. jackson lee: i thank the gentleman for his curtcy. this is what we lived in preceding the affordable care act. 18% of the underinsured, postponed getting care or treatment, some died. 15% of the uninsured had problems paying their medical bills, hounded, hound, hounded because they didn't have the resources. they even went bankrupt. 10% of them of the uninsured needed prescription drugs but could not afford them. 8% were founded by collection agencies because they had to pay for their mortgage or food. and 6% did not seek treatment at all. you know what that equals to? 100% of those individuals suffering bad health care. let us vote down the upton
bill. vote against the underlying rule. and let's promote the affordable care act, fix it like the president has done, and save lives in america. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. burgess: mr. speaker, i yield myself one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. burgess: mr. speaker, that evening in march of 2010 when the senate bill was finally going to be considered by the house, there was a meeting of the rules committee that night, democrats were in charge, i presented myself to that meeting with 18 amendments to senate bill h.r. 3590. house bill 3590 that had been passed by the senate. every one of those was summarily rejected. the problem the democrats had that day was should we change a single word in h.r. 3590 as passed by the senate that the bill would have to go back to the senate and concur with the house amendment to 3590? the majority leader in the senate having lost his 60th vote in a special election in massachusetts that year, felt he could not pass anything.
he could not achieve cloture with only 59 democrats to vote in favor of that motion for cloture. that's the reason why not one word was changed between christmas eve 2009 and the time this bill was actually passed. but if h.r. 3590, after it came back from the senate, came to the rules committee, did it come to the house under an open rule? no, it did no. it was a closed rule. we were kept out. process. it's hard to it -- kept house of the process. it's hard to -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. burgess: when a bill of this magnitude came with so little debate, so little input from the minority, yeah, we got a one-page bill before the house today. this was a 2,700-page bill that affected every man, woman, and child in this country, not just today, not just tomorrow, but for the next three decades they'll be living under this and it came under a closed rule. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, what the gentleman conveniently leaves out are the hundreds of hours of hearings and markups that occur in the committees of jurisdiction on the fract -- on the affordable care act. this is not the only bill wrt committees of jurisdiction have been cut tout of the process, where members' voices have been silenced. where they are enforcing rules with an iron fist in this chamber. this unfortunately is not unique. it's a pattern. to suggest we don't have a time to offer amendments is justry particular -- is just ridiculous. we have plenty of time. we could debate this all day. both democrats and republicans to amend it given the fact that they were denied that right in the committees of jurisdiction. mr. speaker, i would like to also ask unanimous consent to enter into the record an article that appeared in the national review online entitled boehner it, colin, upton bill a
step on the bath to obamacare repeal. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mcgovern: what is going on here is very simple. if you believe that 40 million americans should be without health insurance, then vote for this bill. that's what they want to do. . they want to repeal the affordable care act where it was perfectly acceptable and ok to have 40 million americans without health insurance. -- many of us found that found that statistic unconscionable in this country, the richest country in the history of the world, and we thought it was a bad policy to allow so many uninsured americans because that also resulted in higher health care costs. but that's what the goal here is. the goal here is to undo all the protections that allow you to keep your kids on your insurance policy until they're 26, that prohibits insurance
companies discriminating against women because they defined being a female as a pre-existing condition. all these artificial rules and regulations that insurance companies threw upon people, these insurance policies that people bought thinking they had insurance only to find out when they got sick they had nothing, if you want to go back to that, then side with my republican friends. but what we want to do here is we want to work as we did in massachusetts, by the way, with governor romney to make this work, to make this work. i'll tell you, for the life of me i don't understand why this is such a radical idea, to guarantee everybody in this country good, quality health insurance. with that, mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to the ranking member of the energy and commerce committee who suffered a long and arduous rules committee hearing last night, mr. pallone. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for three minutes. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank my colleague from massachusetts, not only
for having to deal with the ordeal in last night but every day but also what he said about the lack of regular order when this upton bill, this bill by the chairman, mr. upton, came to the rules committee. i'm a member of the house subcommittee, energy and commerce committee. i sat in rules last night. i'll say again here today, we had many hearings in the house subcommittee, we had hearings in the full energy and commerce committee over the last two and three weeks. there was ample opportunity to have this bill proceed with regular order with a subcommittee hearing, markup, full committee hearing, markup, none of that was done. this bill comes to the floor directly from rules and it is a flawed bill. i want to stress that. i really believe, mr. speaker, that this legislation is just another attempt by the g.o.p. to undermine the affordable care act. in fact, i'll call this the 46th attempt at repeal. my g.o.p. colleagues have zero interest in helping people gain
and keep their health insurance. they have zero interest in fixing any problems that may be occurring with the rollout of the law. they simply want to demonize the president, as you've heard over and over again, and his policies and will go at any length to do so. at the top of the list are their efforts to sabotage obamacare and force its failure. yesterday, the president took some action to help americans who want to renew their insurance policies if their insurance companies are willing to offer that option. ultimately, though, i believe that these people will look at e quality plans available in new affordable care act insurance marketplace and like what they see because in most cases they'll purchase better coverage at the lower price than their regular policy. when they get sick their policies will provide it. the old policies don't provide adequate insurance. now, as i said before, the upton bill before us is not about giving people access to health care. it's about be a todging
obamacare. one -- about sabotaging obamacare. the president's initiative yesterday allows them to keep their insurance if they want to, but what the upton bill does is allow anybody now, anybody, even if they didn't have the old insurance policy, to buy these new schedule toll these that don't -- new policies that don't provide coverage. it will allow insurers charge women twice as much as men. it will allow insurers to jack up premiums on a family if their child gets sick. if will allow insurers to place caps on coverages, all the discriminatory practices that the a.c.a. and obamacare eliminated, would come back under the upton bill. it would not allow insurers --
you can't force insurers to offer the plans. it basically allows them to ell low-quality 2013 plans all through 2014, nothing else. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. burgess: mr. speaker, i recognize myself -- i yield myself three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. burgess: you know, we talked about the votes in this house to delay or modify portions of the affordable care act. indeed, the house passed seven of those and they've been signed by the president. what really doesn't get attention is the multiple times that the administration, the president himself has changed parts of the affordable care act. you want to talk about some of those done without any hearings, you want to talk about some that was done without transparent action, done without debate on the floor of the house, one was the congressional opt out. the administration gave members of congress and their staff the
option of exempting themselves from the obamacare exchanges created by the affordable care act contrary to the language of the law. exchange enroll! . the administration extended -- exchange enrollment. the administration extended by six weeks to avoid the individual mandate tax penalty. the employer delay. administrative action that is contrary by language in the affordable care act, the employer mandate was delayed by one year. self-attestation. because of the difficulty of varyfying income after employer reporting requirement was delayed, the administration decided it would allow self-attestation of income by applicants for health insurance exchanges. small businesses on hold. the administration said that the federal exchanges for small businesses would not be ready by the 2014 statutory deadline. instead, officials delayed until 2015 implementation of the federal shop exchanges.
closing the high-risk pools. this one was i thought particularly egregious. mr. speaker, i frankly don't understand why this was not covered by the nation's press. but the administration decided to halt enrollment in federal high-risk pools, blocking coverage for an estimated 40,000 new applicants and decided rather than using the money from the fund under health and human services secretary sebelius' control to extend coverage for those with pre-existing condition to instead use this money to pay for advertising for the affordable care act. remember, the affordable care act was sold to the american people because, remember the quotes, there were eight million to 12 million people with pre-existing conditions, and yet the president's own pre-existing pool when it was gned in march of 2010, was closed february 1, 2013, barely 2 1/2 years into its life span. why have we not heard more about that? this was an administrative
action to restrict people from access to the risk pools that they were told they were going to get as a consequence of the president's health care law. many of these people proudly voted for the president in november of 2012 because, after all, he was going to provide them their risk pool insurance for another year until it didn't happen. is it any wonder why there's no faith in what the administration says it will do by administrativeied ict, why there is -- administrative dict, why there's no constitutional action? i'll reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, the gentleman talks about faith. i think the american people have lost faith in the republican leadership of this house. my friends are so obsessed with the -- with this health care bill that they actually shut
the government down. ted cruz was speaker of the house here for a month. i mean, they shut the government down because they did not believe that 40 million uninsured americans ought to have health insurance. one in a "washington post" piece writes about the upton bill. it doesn't solve the cancellations problems but it does manage to put republicans on the side of insurers who want to continue discriminating against pre-existing conditions. i mean, that's what this is all about, giving the insurance companies more of what they want. you want to know why? follow the money. follow the money. it's no secret where the insurance companies allegiances are. and quite frankly, my friends have had three years in control to give us their alternative. they've said no to everything. no, no, no. try to undercut, repeal everything. what have they offered in three years? what is their prescription for the uninsured in america? take two tax breaks and call me in the morning, that's the best
they can come up with. this is a good bill, and we need to work to implement it so we can make sure that every single american has access to good, quality health insurance. with that i yield three minutes to the gentlewoman from new york, mrs. maloney. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york is recognized for three minutes. mrs. maloney: i thank the gentleman in his leadership in providing health care for over 40 million americans that did not have it. mr. speaker, this is the 46th time that our republican colleagues have tried to repeal or undermine the affordable care act. i rise in opposition to this closed rule, and i urge a no vote on the upton bill. we are here today supposedly to help those people who unexpectedly had their insurance policies canceled. this is a real issue. as the president himself clearly acknowledged last night. and that is why he's taking steps to help these people in the private health care market
keep their plans. however, the bill before us now not only fails to solve the problem, it makes things worse by fundamentally undermining the affordable care act in a way that is calculated to doom it to eventual failure. you would be changing the rules in the middle of the game and virtually guaranteeing that premiums would eventually skyrocket for people who did the right thing, went to the exchange and got a plan. and this would price the program out of existence. and doing that would take us all back to a time when over 40 million americans did not have access to affordable health insurance, including 2.6 million new yorkers. we must not turn our backs on those people now. we absolutely have problems we need to fix. we have issues we need to solve, but we are on the verge of finally covering millions of
americans who lack the fundamental security of affordable health care coverage for their families. we are finally close to achieving a goal for millions that has been pursued for nearly a century through republican and democratic administrations alike. this is a problem we must solve without turning our back on those families forced into bankruptcy simply because someone in the household got sick. this is a problem we must solve for the same of all those women who were denied insurance or had to pay up to 40% more for insurance simply because they were women. and this is a problem we must solve for the sake of all those people with pre-existing conditions and for all those young adults who can stay on their parents' plans till they turn 27. we did not embark on this effort because we thought it would be easy. we embarked on this effort to
provide health care to millions because we thought it was a moral imperative, an economic necessity and a fundamental human right. yes, it's hard to get it right, but ultimately this is an effort that history will judge, not by the number of computer errors, but by the number of lives saved. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to vote no on this bill and yes for health care for millions of americans. i yield back. mr. burgess: mr. speaker, i yield myself one minute for the purpose of response. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. burgess: talking about changing the rules in the middle of the game, what in the world was that presidential press conference 24 hours ago? it was about changing the rules by executive fiat. i went through a list of many of the 27 times that the president has changed the rules in the middle of the game. what about the time the administration -- the times the administration has been engaged
in hide the ball from the american people, from the nation's governors, from the nation's insured? what about the fact that the rule for the essential health benefit was held up until two days after election day last year, and then the governors had to make a decision as to whether or not to participate in the exchanges in their states a week later? is it any wonder they could not make a decision of that amount of import in a week's time? sure, they were given another month's extension, but eventually 26 governors said, i can't do it based on the information provided. another six governors said ok, but the federal government is going to have to set up the exchanges. that's why you have 32 states for which the federal government is having to set up the federal fallback exchange. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, at this time it's my privilege to yield three minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. andrews. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for three minutes. mr. andrews: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized.
mr. andrews: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my friend for the time. in march of 2010, the president signed the affordable care act, and in that law there was a provision that said on january 1, 2014, if insurance plans did not have important consumer protections, like getting rid of lifetime policy limits and annual limits, that they couldn't be sold any more. so for over for over 3 1/2 years the insurance had notice the day was coming when they could not sell these plans anymore. they chose to wait until the last couple weeks to send out notices to millions of americans saying they couldn't renew their plans next year. this is unfair to those americans and it's a problem that ought to be fixed. the president has stepped forward with a plan to address this, to help those americans. i support what he's doing. the house democrats will have an opportunity to put on the floor some votes that will further improve that situation
as this debate goes on. this problem of people having their policies canceled is unwarranted and unwelcomed. we should work together to fix it. the underlying bill here that does not fix the problem, it creates a problem. it's very important to understand what the underlying bill does. it says that insurance plans that discriminate against you because you are a woman or because you had skin cancer or insurance plans that say that in the middle of your chemo therapy you can run out of coverage. or insurance plans that say after you paid your premiums for months or even years, the insurance company can cancel you because you got sick. those plans can continue to be sold to everyone. to everyone. now, the problem that we are trying to address is people that have such plans and want to keep them be given the opportunity to keep them. that's what the president's decision does, which is why we support it. the underlying bill says that
these plans can be opened up to anybody who wants to buy this. that sounds fair at first glance. someone wants to buy that kind of plan, shouldn't they be able to? well, ladies and gentlemen of the house, here's the question, if someone buys a plan that pulls the plug on their chemotherapy in the middle and they keep getting care, who pays for it? the taxpayers do and the other premium payers do. that's who pays for t this plan that is before the house today, this republican bill, is a guarantee of rate shock for the american people because here's what will happen. if anyone who wants to can buy one of these cars without an air bag or cars without seat belts, that's what these plans are, then you will find that the new marketplaces don't have enough people in them. and when they don't have enough people in them, the rates will rise. the and when the rates spike for people in the marketplaces, they will spike for people who get employer-sponsored health
care because the possibility of competition from the marketplaces is already reducing the premium increases that employers are seeing. i would ask for another one minute. mr. mcgovern: i yield an additional one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for an additional one minute. mr. andrews: i thank the gentleman. the employer rates which have risen at the slowest rates in the last five or six years would once again be subject to the kind of spikes that happened here. look, i think there is bipartisan agreement in this chamber this morning that if someone has gotten a cancellation notice, we want to help that person keep their plan if they choose to keep it. we agree with that. the president agrees with that. that's what he set out to do. what we do not want and what this bill does is to guarantee rate shock, guarantee a premium spike for americans whether they are in these plans that we are talking about today, whether they are in the new marketplaces, or whether they receive insurance through their
employer. we need additional protections where insurance commissioners around this country can step forward and ininvestigate arbitrary and unfair practices. where they can protect consumers, and house democrats are going to put forward such an opportunity to vote on that at the conclusion of this debate. let's not in the guise of solving one problem magnify another one. we should oppose this rule and oppose the underlying bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. burgess: mr. speaker, may i inquire how much time remains? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas has 13 minutes remaining. the gentleman from now colorado has 4 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. burgess: i yield myself three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. burr ghost: the rate shockish -- mr. burgess: the rate shock issue is about one which every member of this house should be concerned. let me read to you from a letter that i received from a constituent who lives in the colony, texas, city within my
congressional district. they are complaining about the cost and lack of transparency on the healthcare.gov website. the prices on the obamacare website what we can expect based on our ages is from $372 to $600. but when i go to actually urchase those prices automatically become $870. we couldn't qualify for subsidies. that was not part of any calculation. it goes on to say it's bad enough the president has lied to us on multiple points, $2,500-year savings, keep your plan, keep your doctor, but also the website designed to mislead us about the price as well. what is the reason that the obamacare site and health carrier sites don't agree? i saw a north carolina couple on the news who had the same experience anti-insurance carrier told them the prices on the carrier sites are correct and those prices on
healthcare.gov are incorrect. there is a shock going on in the country right now. that's what part of this debate is about today. let me just caution my colleagues on the other side of the aisle that the true rate shock experience is likely to hit in september of 2014. about six weeks before election day in november 14. what is the reason for that rate shock? well, we all know that the healthcare.gov website was so far an abysmal failure. the administration is counting on a certain demographic to flood to that website and sign it or their wonderful new obamacare. but it's hard. so they are not going to do it. but people who are holder, perhaps they have multiple chronic conditions who are actually fearful about losing their health care coverage, they are going to keep at it. bless their hearts they'll keep going. they'll keep coming day after day after day until they can
finally get through and sign up for the insurance policy. yeah, it's more expensive than i wanted. couldn't cover as much as i wanted, but i'll have something at the start of the year. the problem is the demographic that the administration counted on to sign up is not going to show up. beginning about april of this next year, the insurance companies are going to begin to price risk. that's what they do. that's what they do well. so they are going to price risk and they will post their prices somewhere along the lines, july 1 to september 30. and those prices for the renewal of health insurance are going to be staggeringly high. they'll be astonishingly high. the rate shock that is fixing to happen, you ain't seen nothing yet. it's coming in the fall and it will be unbelievable compared to anything you have seen to date. i'll reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. members are reminded to refrain from engaging in personalities toward the president. the restriction includes quoting from extraneous materials.
without objection, the gentleman from colorado now controls the time and is recognized. mr. polis: i thank the speaker. i'd like to yield one minute to the gentlewoman from california, the democratic leader, ms. pelosi. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for one minute. ms. pelosi: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i thank him for his leadership and that of the whole rules committee on having to field some really strange notions masquerading as proposals to improve the lives of the american people. and we see a lot of that these days, but this one on the floor today really takes the cake because it is essentially pull the plug on the affordable care act. while it says that they want to delay the cancellations of that to the insurance companies have written to policyholders, it does not mandate. this is a conversation, it's
not an action, but it does violence to the bill in other ways t that idea that it was helping consumers was the trojan horse whose underbelly is poisonous with -- in trms of the health and well-being of the american people. mr. speaker, i rise to come to the floor on the rule because i think it's really important for members to vote against the rule as a point of fairness. if we reject this rule and allow the rules committee to come back to the floor with an opportunity for there to be a democratic alternative, that would be fair. and what we would do in the vote on the previous question, which i urge people to vote no on, would be able to vote yes or consider voting yes on a bill that does exactly what consumers need in terms of this cancellation area. first of all it would say that
there would be a real delay, a real delay for one year for the implementation in terms of the individual policy holders. this piece of the bill that is the question. individual policy, 95% of the american people it, as has been said, who have policies that they like can keep them. it's this 5%, and that's a lot of people, i don't want to minimize that, nonetheless it's a discreet market. let's address that market and in our previous question we bring up a bill that addresses that market. not only by enabling them to hold their policy for a year, but by requiring that the insurance companies must tell people, not that you're canceled, but these -- we want to sign you up again at a higher cost, instead insurance companies would be obliged to tell people what their options
are. what their options are under the affordable care act, in terms of having no lifetime limits on their policies, no annual limits on their policies, no pre-existing condition. increasing the cost of their policy. or preventing them from holding their policy should they become sick. b, if it also makes sure that the insurance companies tell people what their options are in the exchanges. that they may qualify for saubsdy. that they may -- subsidy. in that marketplace the insurance companies around competing, aren't competing. this is a free market this exchange. they are competing for their policy. and therefore that has already lowered cost to consumers. they may have better policy with better benefits at a lower cost, and if they qualify, get a subsidy to do it. in addition to that, it's
really important in every respect that the -- in everything we do, not only just for this individual marketplace, for people to understand the benefits of the affordable care act that are available to them. i mentioned no pre-existing condition, no annual limits, no lifetime limits, but also that already for the past over one year young people can be on their parents' -- over three million people have benefited in that regard. tens of millions of seniors have benefited from the free prevention checkup, mammograms, whatever kinds of things, prevention, and wellness examines, free no co-pay, no deductible, already seniors are experiencing lower costs for their prescription drugs because of the fract -- affordable care act. already young children cannot be discriminated against or
their families for seeking insurance because they have a pre-existing condition. imagine a child born with a defect for life. they have a pre-existing condition which will cost them dearly in terms of premiums if they can get insurance, then it would be with limits. not so. that's all changed. that's why on this upton bill which as i said is -- not only does bad things to the affordable care act in terms of disrupting the risk pools, it tries to masquerade as something that does something positive which it does not. and that is why the upton bill is opposed by a broad coalition of groups of the the american heart association, the american diabetes association, the american cancer society, action network, national partnership for women and families. paralyzed veterans of america. anyone with a pre-existing -- 100 million people. families with people with pre-existing medical conditions, all of them benefit. the stories are so glorious and
beautiful about what a difference the affordable care act has made to families. especially those with small children or those with pre-existing conditions. and to seniors. and again being a woman is no longer a pre-existing medical condition. so this is politics. it's not about policy. it isn't any attempt to improve the affordable care act. one way to improve it, though, is what we have in our previous question. give the state commissioners, state insurance commissioners, the authority, all of it. some of them have it, but ensure that all of them have the authority to investigate and act upon rate increases as well as the nature of these letters that were sent out without the integrity that they should have had. gain, we require that they
also -- in these letters that the insurance companies make sure that people know what their opportunities are. what we are proposing today really does make a difference. in fact, we wanted to get this requirement of the insurance commissioners in the underlying bill, and then we said ok, we'll dough that as an improvement by voting no on this rule and enabling us to bring bail to the floor. . with that, mr. speaker, i urge our colleagues to support the affordable care act, support what it does for america's families, stand with those who fought for social security, for medicare, affordable care for all americans because these are three pillars of equal weight in terms of the economic and health security of the american people. they honor the values of our founders, a health, liberty to pursue your happiness so you
are not job locked or constrained by a policy but free to follow your passion, to start -- to be self-employed, start a business, to change jobs, to be entrepreneurial, life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. vote no on the rule. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. burgess: mr. speaker, i'll yield myself three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. burgess: mr. speaker, i want to remind members of the house of representatives about the president's press conference yesterday. i'd like to read from the transcript of his remarks. quoting from the president yesterday. he first talked about the problems with healthcare.gov website. big problems. he went on to say, quoting here, the other problem that's received a lot of attention concerns americans who've received letters from their insurers that they may be losing the plans they bought in
the old individual market often because they no longer meet the law's requirements. seems pretty straightforward to me what the president was saying yesterday. he goes on to say, further quoting, now as i indicated earlier, i completely get how upsetting this can be for a lot of americans, particularly after assurances that they heard from me that if they had a plan that they liked they could keep it. and to those americans, i hear you loud and clear. i said that i would do everything that we can to fix this problem, and today i'm offering an idea that will help do it. already we have plans that predate the affordable care act, and people can keep those plans if they haven't changed. that was already the law. that's what's called the grandfather clause that was included in the law. today, we're going to extend that principle, both to the people whose plans have changed
since the law took effect and for people who bought plans since the law took effect. ending quoteations here. the 10th amendment of the constitution should actually protect the states to issue their own directives through their state insurance commissioners. they didn't need the president of the united states to do that. that's power enshrined to them in the constitution. the problem is that that power was taken away under the affordable care act. now, they've attempted to bring it back, but the fact of the matter is that many states' patients and constituents won't have that protection, but the upton bill today will actually provide that protection. make no mistake, the upton bill is not a fix-it bill for the affordable care act. it is a lifeline that we're extending to our constituents who have lost the coverage that they were told that they could keep. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from colorado.
mr. polis: i yield to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. fatah. -- fattah. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. may i inquire as to how much time the gentleman plans to yield? mr. polis: one minute. the speaker pro tempore: one minute the gentleman is recognized. mr. fattah: we only have a minute, 60 seconds in it, so let me be concise. on monday, i was in san francisco -- san diego with 30,000 brain researchers, excited about the age of discovery and attacking diseases like alzheimer's and bipolar and schizophrenia. yesterday, via satellite, i spoke to a public health conference in brussels with the european union. the theme is the wealth of their member countries was the health of their populations. then i come to the floor today where we see people who want to retreat from the idea which is to make sure that every single person in our country for the first time in this nation's
history has access to affordable health care coverage. there will be no retreat, no equivocation. i know there's desire among members on the other team always to somehow go backwards. you know, to some other age in our country as if our future is in the past. our future and the shape of our country is in the future and it's in the health of the citizens of our country. i thank the gentleman for yielding me 60 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas. mr. burgess: mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to yield five minutes to the gentlelady from tennessee, the vice chair of the committee, marsha blackburn. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from tennessee is recognized for five minutes. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. chairman. i'm pleased today to stand in support of the rule that will allow us to bring the keep your health plan act to the floor. it is important that we take this action today on h.r. 3350
because we have heard from the american people, from coast to coast, from coast to coast that they do not want -- they do not want the president's health care law. they do not like the president's health care law. they feel as if and have realized that what is happening with this law is that, number one, it is restricting their choice and options when it comes to health insurance. nd number two, the cost is skyrocketing. now, we know that that is very important to our families who have chosen health plans that meet their needs, health savings accounts that allows them to take individual responsibility for their health care, allows them the opportunity for choosing doctors and physicians and
keeping those doctors and physicians. and what the american people are telling us and our constituents are telling us is that they do indeed feel betrayed by the empty promises this he president and administration has made. they're also quite concerned about the botched website rollout. as i said, the insurance premiums. and oh, those cancellation notices that are hitting the mailboxes of millions of americans. and they say, this is not what we bargained for, this is not what we were promised, it's not what we voted or spoke in favor of. and so they're asking us to take an action, and h.r. 3350 does take that action. now, mr. chairman, i want to go back to 2010 when we had a conference and the president
was before us and i asked him a question about the ability to keep plans and individuals to stay insured. i spoke, because of the experience we had had in my state of tennessee with the test case for hillary care called tenncare. we knew it was the test case for public option health care. we knew it was too expensive to afford and overall we knew it did not work. in his response, the president mentioned a little bit about some stray cats and dogs and that he thought he had it cleaned up. i tell you our constituents are not stray cats and dogs, and they deserve to have the opportunity to keep their health care and not to be treated in a disrespectful manner or to be discarded to the sidelines. so the president needs to realize he cannot go around waving a magic wand and fixing
this by executive fiat. this is a law. we are a nation of laws, and we abide by the rule of law. obamacare, the president's health care law, is the law of the land. in order to provide relief to the american people who have clearly spoken to say they do not want this law, it requires an action of congress. today's action will provide relief for some individuals, not as many as we would like, but it is one step in providing some relief. the american people have grown weary of this administration spending money that it does not have on programs the american people do not want. and the president's health care law is a great example of a program that the american people do not want so they have
come to us as the people's representative and said and reminded us that we are a government of, by and for the people, in a should be working for the -- that should be working for the people. and as one of my constituents told me monday, we the people are going to start being the people and holding this administration and this congress accountable. today is one of those steps of we are taking on behalf our constituents and the people of this great nation. i thank the gentleman from texas for the exceptional work that he has done and working with chairman upton from michigan bringing this to the floor and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield one minute to the gentleman from california, the hair of the democratic caucus,
becerra. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. r. becerra: thank you. people included in my folks of california, like aaron who said the old -- erin who said the old plan she had had all sorts of deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. at the end of the day, what did she say on going to cover california marketplace, she will be saving $18,900 per year by having shopped on the health care website. and another passed on a plan that would cost him $500. he qualifies for a plan that charges $176 a month. allen says, my wife would not have insurance coverage at all as of january 1. they shopped on the website, they are now saving $8,000 a
year for, as he said, a very much better plan. and andrew striker from los angeles, california, 34 years old, lives in -- as i said, in my city of los angeles, had to wait three hours to enroll. $6,000 savings. let's improve this plan. let's not destroy it. it's time to move forward to give americas what they need, health security. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. burgess: reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: require if the gentleman has any remaining speakers. mr. burgess: i'm always here so i remain as a speaker but it will just be me. mr. polis: you're prepared to close? mr. burgess: absolutely. mr. polis: i yield myself the balance of the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for the remaining time which is 90 seconds. mr. polis: i'll offer an amendment to the rule in a will allows americans to keep their insurance if they like it. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to insert the text of the amendment in the record, along with extraneous material immediately prior to the vote on the previous question. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. polis: mr. speaker, there's
a number of ways that we can improve upon the affordable care act. one of the ones that i'd like to highlight that we could be bringing here to the floor today that the senate already passed is comprehensive immigration reform. h.r. 15 here in the house, a bipartisan bill that i'm confident would pass if brought to the floor, would finally make a dent in the fact that there are more than 10 million people here in this country illegally, the vast majority of whom don't have any access to health care insurance. so american citizens are essentially being forced to pay the health care costs of people here illegally every day until we pass comprehensive immigration reform. we wonder why rates are going up. it's no surprise, mr. speaker, when somebody doesn't have insurance, their costs are shifted onto other people who do. now, yes, there's americans who don't have insurance, and the affordable care act helps increase the access that many americans have to insurance,
but it doesn't do a thing about the fact that there's more than 10 million people here illegally in this country in violation of our laws who do not have health care insurance. if we can pass h.r. 15, mr. speaker, people who are here illegally will have to get insurance on their own instead of forcing americans to pay for their insurance. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. polis: i urge my colleagues to vote no on this rule, defeat the previous question. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. burgess: i thank the speaker for the recognition. i just can't help but think back to that september evening in 2009 when the president stood before a joint session of congress after the august recess and made a statement to the nation that, yeah, he was trying to change health care, but not to worry, that no one who was in the country without the benefit of a social security number will be included in that cost, because many people are concerned that the cost for the affordable care act, already high, would
expand unreasonably if that were to change and the president made a promise to the american people that night. well, mr. speaker, we heard a lot of stuff today. i really wish there had been that much interest in improving the affordable care act before it passed the first time. we all know the reasons why those improvements were not offered and why we just simply had a take it or leave it proposition that was ultimately signed into law. mr. speaker, today's rule provides for the consideration of a critical bill to protect the millions of americans who are facing the loss of health insurance that they were promised that they could keep. i certainly thank my friend from michigan, the chairman of the energy and commerce committee, mr. upton, for producing this thoughtful piece of legislation. at this i yield back the balance of my time, move the previous question on the resolution and ask its approval by the body. the speaker pro tempore: all time for debate has expired. the question is on ordering the previous question on the resolution. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: on that i request the yeas and nays.
the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the pained. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 9 of rule 20, the chair will reduce to five minutes the minimum time for any electronic vote on the question of adoption. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the .s. house of representatives.] s
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 225. the nays are 193. the previous question is ordered. the question is on adoption of the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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