tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 15, 2013 3:00pm-5:01pm EST
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 e >> the house went on to approve the rule for health insurance coverage. the chamber then turned to general debate on the bill. we are going to show that to you now. it is an hour and 20 minutes. o tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, across generations presidencies are often associated with one famous utterance. ask not what your country can do for you. the only thing we have to fear, tear down this wall. and our current president will be no different. if you like your health care plan, you can keep it, period.
for the last three years the president repeated this promise in selling his signature law, and he did so with the knowledge that it would not be met. millions of americans, including nearly a quarter after million in michigan, took the president at his word and now unexpectedly are receiving cancellation notices. they are confused, worried, and upset. today we stand with those families with the keep your health plan act. this bill is to help provide peace of mind to folks like the farmer in bangor, michigan, who just found out after purchasing his family's insurance for the last 30 years, that he will be able to keep their plan no more. and the sticker shock will be unbearable as the premiums double and their deductible jumps nearly 3,000 bucks. sadly they are not alobe. -- alone. for millions of americans it's cancellation today, sticker shock tomorrow. for the last six weeks the
white house stood idly by ignoring the pleas of millions. as administration allies panicked, the white house went from attacking our thoughtful bill to makeping an end around congress with a universal fix. our straightforward, one-page bill that says if you like -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is correct. the house is not in order. mr. upton: our straightforward, one-page bill says, if you like your current coverage, you should be able to keep it. the president should heed his own advice and work with us, the congress, as the founders intended, not around the legislative process. everyone today should embrace the keep your health plan act, and our efforts to protect americans from the damage of this law should not stop there. let's keep the promise. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. waxman: mr. speaker, i
yield myself three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. waxman: this bill is not a bill to let people keep their health insurance plans. the president took care of that issue yesterday. what this bill is another vote to repeal the affordable care act. it would take away the core protections of that law. this bill creates an entire shadow market of substandard health care plans. it will destabilize the health insurance exchanges, raise premiums, and continue to allow insurers to discriminate on the basis of pre-existing conditions. the bill takes away the core consumer protections and a part of the law. under the republican bill, insurers could cherry pick the best risks and destabilize the
insurance market for everyone else. that's why we would have them repeal the law people would still be out of a chance to get insurance. i understand the concern of many members that individuals should be able to keep their health insurance if they like it, but there's a profound difference between providing relief for individuals whose policies have been canceled, which is what the president did yesterday, and recreating the discriminatory, inefficient insurance market that we had before health reform, which is what this bill would do. we need to have some perspective on this issue. for those currently in the individual insurance market, nearly five million people, they will be eligible for a tax credit worth an average of $5,000. over a million more people will
be eligible for medicaid, which means additional savings. because of better coverage that protects them from crippling medical costs, millions more will lower their out-of-pocket costs. and the 25 million americans without insurance will finally get a good deal on quality coverage. no one can be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. no one can see higher rates because they get sick. no one can see their rates go up. running up against annual coverage limits or realize too late that their plan didn't cover the key benefits that they need. this week we learned that 1.5 million people have already applied for coverage. a faster signup rate that experienced in massachusetts. even with all the technical problems we have had. in my state of california, nearly 400,000 people have
begun applications in the first month. there will be a total of six months to sign up, this program is going to work. . these are significant signs of progress. they show us we're on our way. on our way to dramatically expanding health insurance coverage in this nation. this bill will take us backwards. i urge a no vote and i retain the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. tipton: mr. speaker, i would yield two minutes to the gentleman from oregon, mr. walden. -- mr. upton: mr. speaker, i would yield two minutes to the gentleman from oregon, mr. walden. mr. walden: i rise today for the voice of oregonians who have already received their cancellation notices. they've been told the policy that they like, that they wanted
to keep they cannot have any longer. i was down in my district for eight straight days last week. 36 meetings, 12 counties, 2,476 miles on the road from day in the morning to late at night. i'm going to tell you, there are people like chuck and jan medford who have gone into retirement, who had health insurance, got notice that their plan is being canceled. from mitchell to ben from enterprise, to medford, all over. not only are their plans being canceled, the replacements are coming back, for example, with -- back, folks, with deductibles that are $15,000 when they were paying a couple thousand. the premiums are going up in some cases double or more. some of them may get a subsidy. a lot of them won't. and now they don't have the plan they were promised that they could keep. and another thing that's insidious that's going on below the surface, meeting after meeting, hours are being cut back, people are losing their
jobs, they're getting less take-home pay because of obamacare. this is a problem all across america. the promise that you can keep your plan was never to be kept and they knew it and they continued to say it and it wasn't true. people are losing their plans, they're losing their coverage and they're losing access to the specialists that may save their lives. that's right. they won't be able to keep their doctors. they may. but if the doctor's out of network, there's no cap on what they will pay in terms of a deductible. so financially you take away their access to health care, the prices have gone up, the access and oh, by the way, in many cases they've lost their jobs or their hours have been cut back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california is recognized.
mr. waxman: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. rangel, who played such an important role in drafting the affordable care act. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for two minutes. mr. rangel: let me thank mr. waxman, congressman waxman, for giving me this opportunity. the majority said that presidents are remembered by certain things and that this outstanding president will be remembered because he said if you have a plan and he didn't say no matter how bad it is, you can keep it. i think he will be remembered historically of being the first president in the united states of america that has told people that for the first time every american will have access to affordable health care. on the other side, history's going to record them, too. that they never said that they had any concern at all and never million n for the 30
people that every day are waiting for this plan to go into effect. and that they would publicly acknowledge that they don't want to improve upon mistakes that may have been made, but they want to derail, to destroy and to eliminate and to repeal universal health care for americans. i say this, the president apologized yesterday and i apologized to those people without insurance today for the united states congress. if you believe that the administration has done something wrong, for god's sake, let's work together to correct it. but to just ignore the fact that 70% of americans already have good insurance and it's going to be improved, to ignore the fact that 30 million people's lives and their legacy is not -- is in jeopardy because they can't
afford to have serious illnesses, and to believe that those that belong to the 5% that really gets caught in what we're supposed to be fixing today, i tell you that there's no evidence at all that the republican party wanted to fix anything for the uninsured of america. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, i would yield one minute to the gentleman from georgia, dr. gingrey, a member of the health subcommittee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for unwp -- for one minute. mr. gingrey: mr. speaker, the gentleman from new york just said it. universal health care. single-payer system. government takeover of 1/6 of our economy. that's what they wanted from the very beginning. i rise today in support of h.r. 3350, the keep your health plan act now. the obama administration's health exchange enrollment announcement on wednesday is one of the myriad reasons we must pass this bill. frankly, these long-awaited numbers did not come as a surprise to us.
a mere 100,000 registered for health care on the new marketplace when they anticipated 500,000. according to health and human services' report, the number does not distinguish even between those who have actually paid a premium and those who just select the plan by kicking a button on the website. mr. speaker, the number of americans who have had their health plans canceled is in the millions, exponentially higher than those who have received coverage under obamacare. this disastrous law was destined to fail from the start. we on this side of the aisle, the republicans, and indeed the american people, have known for three years that this plan is unworkable for small businesses, it's unfair for physicians and their patients and it's unaffordable for we the taxpayer, we the people. i urge my colleagues, support h.r. 3350 and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. waxman: mr. speaker, i yield to the top democrat on the
health subcommittee of energy and commerce, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pallone, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for three minutes. mr. waxman: two. the speaker pro tempore: or three minutes. mr. waxman: three. the speaker pro tempore: for three minutes. the gentleman from new jersey is now recognized for three minutes. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. and thank you, mr. waxman. unfortunately today's bill is a ruse. it claims to make things better but all it does is to make things terribly worse and republicans will hide behind the sound bite and be behind the nice feeling of the title. but what this bill really does is to go back to the old broken health insurance system. this is just another attempt for the g.o.p. to repeal the provisions of the affordable care act. they've made it their mission to push the a.c.a. to failure and the only consequence of this bill is just that. seriously damaging the insurance provisions of the affordable care act and the millions of americans who are expected to benefit from the improved coverage and premium and cost-sharing subsidies available through the new health insurance market place. now, the g.o.p. claims the bill
allows people to keep their health plans, but actually it allows all policies with few benefits and sometimes higher prices to be sold to new enrollees. one of the major goals of the a.c.a. was to improve the quality of health insurance policies sold on the private market. beginning in 2014 health insurance plans can no longer deny coverage for adults with pre-existing conditions or charge those individuals more for coverage. and there are a lot of other discriminatory practices that are eliminated by the a.c.a. but we need to be open to constructive changes to make this law work, to the best of its ability. but that's not what the g.o.p. is doing today. no one believes that the republicans care about ensuring that people have health insurance. if they did, then republicans would not for purely political reasons refuse to expand medicaid with those republican governors in the states where now five million hardworking americans across 26 states will not have medicaid expansion
because of the republican politics. mr. speaker, yesterday the president took some action to help americans who want to renew their old insurance policies. ultimately, though, i hope that those americans who want to renew those old policies will look at the quality plans available in the new affordable care act marketplace and like what they see. because in most cases they'll be able to purchase better coverage at a lower price than their original policies. so when they need care, they'll have it, not with these old policies that for the most part are not going to provide them with good health insurance. so i urge my colleagues to oppose this bill. this is just another repeal effort on the part of the republicans, they're not serious about trying to provide health insurance and this will accomplish nothing for the american people. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, i would yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, chairman emeritus of the energy and commerce committee, mr. barton, two minutes.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas, mr. barton, is recognized for two minutes. mr. barrett: the surprise gentleman from texas -- mr. barton: the surprised gentleman from texas is recognized. i appreciate the chairman. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. barton: mr. speaker, we're here today to begin the long ocess of amending, hopefully improving and if that's not possible, at some point in time repealing the affordable care act. the president, as everybody knows by now, repeatedly said that if you like your health insurance you can keep it. well, it hases been proven that even when -- well, it has been proven that even when he said it that was not true and yesterday the president admitted as much when he said, for the next year he would try to honor that promise, if only in the breach. the upton bill actually correctly honors that promise the correct way, by
legislatively saying that insurance can continue to provide these private policies and i would assume some employer-sponsored policies, regardless of whether they meet the new minimum standards under the affordable care act. the bill does not require insurance companies to do so. but it does allow them to do so. and it is our hope, as sponsors of the bill, that many of those companies will do so and it is a reasonable expectation that millions of americans, given that choice, will actually keep the plans that they have and that they like. at some point in time, though, mr. speaker, this bill is not the end of the process, it is the beginning and we need to come back and fix the rest of the bill, the law, excuse me, or perhaps even change it or repeal it. i have a bill that i hope will be brought to the floor at some point in the near future that will make obamacare voluntary. let the henry people -- american
people choose what parts of the law they like and if they decide they don't like some parts or all of the law, they wouldn't be compelled, mandated to continue to use some of these new policies. so, mr. speaker, i want to commend chairman upton and subcommittee chairman pitts for bringing this bill so expeditiously to the floor and i would hope that we can have a unanimous vote in support of it. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. waxman: mr. speaker, the gentleman will not get a unanimous vote. at this time i'd like to yield three minutes to the chairman of the ways and means committee, mr. levin -- to the running backing -- ranking member of the ways and means committee, soon to be chairman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan voiced for three minutes -- is recognized for three minutes. mr. levin: mr. speaker, the republicans are on a mission of destruction. nothing will satisfy them except that very mission.
the upton bill is another weapon in that mission. what the republicans fear most of all is that the health care reform will eventually work. the upton bill is a bill to make sure that it does not work. the president has taken a step to help people keep their policies. the upton bill opens the door to anyone at all, to make sure that health care reform is not workable and that the private market cannot work. so back to the time of 50 million uninsured, so back to e time of cancellation for pre-existing conditions, so back to the time of no cap, so the alternative is bankruptcy.
eight years ago the medicare drug program that republicans had passed got off to a rocky start. did we democrats pounce on it for political gain? no, we put the country first and helped make the program a success. the republicans are marching in the opposite direction. destroying really instead of making something work . let's work together to make it work rather than destroying what americans want, a healthy health program for all americans. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan yields back. the gentleman from michigan, mr. upton, is recognized. mr. upton: i yield one minute
to the majority leader of the house, mr. cantor. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia, mr. cantor, is recognized for one minute. mr. cantor: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the chairman, the gentleman from michigan. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of the keep your health plan act. many americans today are worried, they are worried about their jobs, worried about saving for their children's college education, or worried about saving for their retirement. and now, mr. speaker, millions of americans are worried about coming home, opening their mailboxes to find out that their health care coverage has been taken from them because of the president's health care law. the president repeatedly said that if you like your health care plan, you could keep it. we knew this was a promise he could not keep and now it's a promise he has broken. as a result, millions of
americans across the country are receiving cancellation . tters just like this one mr. speaker, this letter was sent to me by a constituent of mine, his name is bruno, from richmond, virginia, bruno is self-employed. and he purchases his health care plan through anthem blue cross blue shield. a few weeks ago he was shocked to receive this letter because this letter clearly reads, to meet the osama bin laden -- the requirements of the new law, your current plan can no longer be offered. purchasing a new plan could potentially cost mr. gore thousands of dollars. why should he or anyone else be forced off their plan if they want to keep it? working families across america were counting on this president could keep his promise. now they are counting on us to ease some of the pain that his
health care law has brought on them. yesterday president obama announced that he was going to be making some unilateral changes, but the changes he proposed and the ones we are proposing in the house, have some very clear differences. the president's plan restricts coverage previously available to only those who already had it. while forcing others to rchase a plan from healthcare.gov or another coverage that may not fit their needs. the white house doesn't even know how they are going to implement the plan they announced yesterday. this proposal we are talking about here, chairman upton's plan, aims to help americans keep their health insurance and give their neighbors a chance to buy the same plans rather than forcing them on to a
faulty website to buy new coverage they may not like or cannot afford. under this legislation, there is no confusion. the keep your health care plan act removes the impediment in the law that restricts insurance plans from being offered. the only way to completely stop any more cancellation letters like the one mr. gore received is through a full repeal of obamacare. today, however, we have an opportunity to stand united and pass a bipartisan measure that aims to slow the growing number of americans harmed by this law. i would like to thank chairman upton for his hard work, dedication to the issue. i urge all my colleagues in the house to support this bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia yields back. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. waxman: mr. speaker, at this time i wish to yield three minutes to the dean of the house, the chairman emeritus of
the energy and commerce committee, and longest standing member in support of universal health care coverage, the gentleman from michigan, mr. dingell. mr. dingell: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman from michigan, mr. dingell, is recognized for three minutes. mr. dingell: i express great affection and respect for my dear friend from michigan, the gentleman, mr. upton, who serves the house and his constituents well. however, this is a regrettable piece of legislation. it's nothing more than the kind of insurance policies which are being authorized by it that were sold by snake oil salesmen around this country which gave no relief, no help, no benefit to the american people. the sad situation is that this not only allows the -- some people to keep their policies, but it allows a lot of state salesmen to run around the
country selling bad policies which undo almost all the protections which we have put in to the affordable care act. things like protections against pre-existing conditions. the fact a woman might be buying a policy she could be charged for, under this legislation or a new policy issue by some sneaky insurance company. the harsh fact of the matter is this is not a help to citizens. the president said yesterday he was going to take steps to correct the problems. if we really want to have this done properly, then that is the way to do it. let's work together to have these matters corrected properly. let us see to it that the american people get the protections that they need against against abusive practices and not return to
them. h.r. 3350 allows new sales of bad policies which contain programs and practices borrowed by a.c.a. to new and gullible purchasers. the ones that we seek to protect. as i observed yesterday, the insurance companies feel that this is going to cause huge confusion in the market, and they do not think this legislation, average citizen, has been sold a bill which is just plainly false. he is not going to be benefited by the h.r. 3350. he is simply going to be afforded the opportunity to buy bad policies. whereas what we want to do is to see to it that if he has his
policy he could keep it. the fact of the matter is he can keep it, and it doesn't need the legislation before us. the legislation before us simply assures that folk can run around selling bad policies under fictional and false misrepresentations to do hurt to the american people who, frankly, need protection against the abuses that the affordable care act put in place. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan, mr. upton, is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, now i yield one minute to the gentleman from louisiana, mr. scalise, a member of the energy and commerce committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from louisiana is recognized for one minute. mr. scalise: thank you, mr. speaker, for yielding and for the gentleman from michigan for bringing this bill, which i support. we all heard that promise, if you like what you have you can keep it. probably the most often repeated promise that barack obama made in his five years as president. and yet the president's finally
acknowledging that promise will not be kept to millions of americans who are losing the good plans they like. they kept saying they didn't know this was going to happen, by the way, mr. speaker, because back in 2010 the administration had a report that said over 60% of private plans would be canceled under the president's health care law. i have seen it myself in my district. i've got chris from covington, aaron from sly deltha have gotten letters saying they are going to lose the plans they have because the president's health care law. the president's answer was it was a lousy plan. mr. speaker, it was not a lousy plan for chris or aaron or the millions of americans that are losing their plans. they liked their plan. some washington politician shouldn't be able to say, i don't think it's good enough so i'm going to take it from you, even though it's right for your family. let's put patients and doctors back in charge of these decisions. let's empower hardworking families to be the ones in control of their health care decisions, not some washington politician. i urge the passage of this bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman from louisiana yields back. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. speaker, at this time i yield two minutes to the gentlelady from illinois, ms. schakowsky. testimony mr. speaker, my mistake, i yield three. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from illinois is recognized for three minutes. ms. schakowsky: the number one cause of personal bankruptcies in this country is the cost of health care. most of those people are so-called insured. these are the policies that are being covered that people find out when they get sick that they really aren't insured. and major goal of obamacare is to protect every consumer from the worst abuses of the private health insurance industry. starting next year no consumer can be denied coverage or charged more due to a pre-existing condition. this means that 129 million americans will no longer have
to live in fear that they could one day be unable to obtain affordable coverage needed to maintain their health or even to save their lives. the upton bill would turn back the clock. the upton bill would allow insurers to cherry pick among all health care consumers, the young, healthy, by offering nonobamacare compliant policies, leaving only the old and sick to purchase coverage in the marketplace. this is something they wanted to do and have been doing for decades. this is going to drive up premiums, and allow just the type of discrimination that obamacare absolutely ends. speaker boehner said yesterday, we have, currently, the best health care delivery system in the world. are you kidding me? with millions of people, tens of millions of people uninsured and tens of millions more with bad policies that don't cover this.
rather than taking steps to weaken obamacare, my republican colleagues should be taking this opportunity to build on obamacare. as the president did, to fix it. last week i spoke with the director of the illinois department of insurance about some of the unreasonable rate increases my constituents have faced in the past, and their concern about the new rates being quoted in letters they receive from all from their insurers this fall. he told me he doesn't have the authority he wants to protect consumers from excessive premiums. this authority includes the ability to deny or modify any unreasonable premium. illinois isn't alone. today republicans denied us the opportunity to address this by refusing to consider legislation that would move us forward, provide rate modification authority in every state. instead choosing to move a bill that would drive up premium rates and undermine obamacare's new benefits and protections. i want to caution people,
rather than reup with some of the policies they had, check it out. what's really covered? hospitalization, emergency room coverage? how many times can you go see your doctor? go to the marketplace. it will be fixed. and pick a plan that is going to provide you with the real coverage, the essential benefits that you need that are provided under obamacare. we want to protect you from junk plans that are out there, but we want to let you reup in plans that actually offer you the kind of coverage you want. that was essential in what the president did yesterday. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: thank you, mr. speaker. at this point i yield two minutes to the republican whip, the gentleman from california, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for two minutes. mr. mccarthy: thank you, mr. speaker, i thank the chairman for his work in keeping the pledge to bring this bill to the floor. i rise in support of h.r. 3350, the keep your health care plan. from the start obamacare's been
a disaster. first, the individual mandate was a bad idea before. even more dangerous now. because it's forcing people to choose health care they do not want, cannot afford, isn't right for themselves and their families. second, the president's credibility continues to crumble. as independent news sources have confirmed, that he intentionally broke his promise to every american about whether they could keep their insurance under this law. we will continue to see the shock waves of obamacare. today, it is the fact that americans cannot keep their coverage. tomorrow, it will be the staggering and unexpected cost. next month it will be about losing access to their doctor and the list continues to go. no administrative fix will undo the harm this law has caused. republicans believe that we must try and help americans who have been harmed by obamacare. that is why today we'll pass a bill to allow americans to
continue to enroll in plans currently offered without facing the individual mandate penalty. what the american people and our constituents need is certainty. the only approach that continues to provide them certainty is the bill before us today. our bill allows americans a choice. it lets individuals keep their health care plan while giving others who currently are uninsured an escape hatch from obamacare. our bill will allow individuals, whether they are a mother of a sick child, a small business owner, or a young invincible adult to keep their current plan. the national federation of independent businesses and senior groups such as 60-plus are urging congress to fulfill its duty and pass this bill. i urge my democratic friends to join with us. many of them voted for this bill. they stated they had an intent that americans can keep their plan. today is their opportunity to keep that pledge. i yield back.
mr. waxman: mr. speaker, at this time i yield two minutes to the gentleman from the state of washington, dr. mcdermott, who is the ranking member of the health subcommittee of ways and means. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is recognized for two minutes. mr. mcdermott: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mcdermott: mr. speaker, my mother used to say, patience is a virtue. i haven't seen so much panic on this floor since 9/11. now, the fact is that a couple of members who used to be here, jay inslee who is now governor of the state of washington, mike criedler, who is the insurance commissioner of the state of washington, have already said this. ll not implement because it is not good for the people of the state of washington. they've looked at it, we have worked hard to implement the
affordable care act. and now we have a bill out here run no hearings whatsoever, out here, and we're told there will be no confusion. there will be nothing but confusion. you have 50 insurance commissioners around this country who are going to be suddenly given a bill after we write some rules and regulations here that require the insurance companies to sell policies to people. i can't believe what i'm hearing. i thought the republicans believed in the free enterprise system. this is socialism. this is government saying to insurance companies, you must sell a policy to somebody next year that you sold to them this year. when did we shift on the republican side to the congress telling an insurance company who they have to sell a policy to or what's in the policy? i only have two minutes.
up the bill does not say -- mr. upton: the bill does not say must sell. mr. mcdermott: the fact is they're going to have to put the policy out there. they've been work and implementing this law for three -- they've been working and implementing this law for three years and now six weeks before it actually begins to take effect, we run in here and say, wait a minute, wait a minute, you got to start selling policies like the ones that you sold last year. do you think they didn't think through what they're doing? i mean, i don't understand the free enterprise system -- i don't understand, the free enterprise system is lions and they're eating antelopes. i urge a no vote on this because you're going to create endless confusion in this country in the insurance market. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: i yield myself 15 seconds. the gentleman needs to read our bill. it doesn't say that the insurance companies must sell those policies. that may be in the senate bill, it's not in this bill. i would yield one minute to the
vice chair of the energy and commerce committee, the gentlelady from tennessee, mrs. blackburn. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from tennessee is recognized for one minute. pleakbleak thank you, mr. speaker. i thank -- mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the chairman for the superb job he has done on bringing h.r. 3350 to the floor. and i thank him for listening to millions of americans who have been so forthright in saying, we do not want the president's health care law, it is destroying our access to the health care that we like, it is taking away our health care plans. never has there been a federal mandate who has just swept so many people aside and said, you must buy this product. some of you have asked why we're doing this. let me tell you why. we're doing it for my constituentses like caroline and lucie and cindy and wilma, all small business owners, all female heads of households who have written us and have said,
we are being forced out, forced out of the plan that we like. we're being forced away from the doctor that we like, we're being forced to buy a product we do not like. i thank the gentleman, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. waxman: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentlelady from california, rosa delauro. from connecticut, rosa delauro. a state that also starts with a c. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from connecticut is recognized for two minutes. ms. delauro: since this republican majority took office we have taken vote after vote after vote intended to disrupt, delay, defund or outright repeal the affordable care act. last month this house majority shut down the federal government. they threatened a catastrophic debt default in order to gut this law. now when the affordable care act is going into effect, are we
supposed to believe that this republican majority is putting forth a good-faith effort to improve the bill? it doesn't wash and it defies imagination. this bill is designed to weaken the health care law, to roll back the clock on the reforms we worked so hard to pass. it takes us back to the unacceptable state of our health care system before we passed the affordable care act. remember the health care system was failing people. every year health costs skyrocketed. small businesses priced out of the market. employers asking for higher contributions and co-pays and dropping coverage. people with pre-existing conditions were being socked to be on their own. every year more people had no insurance whatsoever. this bill allows insurers to continue to provide substandard health insurance plans to families. even to new customers. americans on these plans will be
denied access to preventive services with no out-of-pocket costs. it takes us back to a time when people were not guaranteed coverage for maternity, pediatric care, hospitalization, where where families faced annual caps, lifetime caps. it takes us back to a health insurance market that rejects people with pre-existing conditions. once again this republican majority is trying to put insurers back in the driver's seat. let them control the health of american families. this majority was never interested in reforming our broken health care system. they've never been interested in the affordable care act and now they are not interested as well. this is a cynical, transparently political bill. oppose it. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, i would yield one minute to the chairman of the oversight and investigation subcommittee on
energy and commerce, dr. tim murphy. one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for one minute. mr. murphy: mr. chairman, the majority is very concerned about health insurance plans and very concerned about those people who have lost their plans. when this bill was originally marked up a couple of years ago in the energy and commerce committee, repeatedly we heard from members of the other side of the aisle saying that if people liked their plan they could keep it indefinitely. this needed a fix several months ago and the president of the united states said he wants republicans and democrats to work together for a solution. we're offering to work together. and yet the president has said he would veto this. but the president offered only a partial fix. it would lead to more confusion. the question is, it will lead to class action suits against insurance companies who fail to comply with the law and many states are saying this partial fix is not sufficient. we need a legislative fix. we need a way the people can still have their option for buying their plan. and what we have to see here is this is a bigger problem for american families who have found
that their insurance is lost and they want to be able to keep it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. waxman: mr. speaker, may i inquire how much time is left on both sides? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california has 10 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman from michigan has 16 3/4 minutes remaining. mr. waxman: at this time i yield two minutes to the gentleman from maryland, mr. hoyer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is ecognized for two minutes. mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to this bill. which will undermine the providing of health care at affordable prices for millions and millions and millions of americans. we said to those americans that, prior to the adoption of this act, if they had a policy they could keep it. that was accurate. now, it didn't say that the insurance companies would have to continue to offer it, which as i understand it, that side of the aisle wouldn't be for in any event.
but the fact of the matter is, that statement was correct. now, subsequent to that, there were policies offered and insurance companies knew and policy holders should have known, because it was in the law , that they would be subject to minimum requirements. why? because as the heritage foundation said when it originally came up with this idea, everybody ought to take personal responsibility. i've heard a lot of talk on your side of the aisle, mr. speaker, about personal responsibility. i believe in that. the upton bill, as everybody knows, will skew the risk pool and encourage adverse selection. anybody who knows anything about insurance knows that if you have adverse selection, the prices for those who need insurance
will go up very substantially while, yes, the prices for those who don't need insurance will go down. very sharply. and very frankly, if all of us knew we would never be in an automobile accident, we wouldn't have to have automobile insurance. except of course the law in almost every state requires us to have it. so that others will be protected as well. now, ladies and gentlemen, this bill is no secret. may i have 30 additional seconds? mr. waxman: i yield the gentleman an additional one minute. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hoyer: this bill is offered by people who, according to their own rhetoric, want to repeal the affordable care act. that's a fair position. but now they are trying to do so with a trojan horse they call the upton bill. that in effect will fix what
people are concerned about. the fact of the matter is it will not fix that problem, but what it will do is undermine the ability of millions and millions d millions of people to have health security. i would urge my colleagues to defeat this trojan horse. i would urge my colleagues to say to the american people, look, we are prepared to work together. the president has offered a compromise which will have the effect of not opening up the policies to everybody, but to those people that had a policy. that is a reasonable step to take. that is a step that perhaps we can talk together and get accomplished. but let's reject this bill and let's stand with the millions of people who want affordable, quality health care for themselves and their families and, mr. speaker, i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan voiced. mr. upton: mr. speaker, i would yield one minute to the gentleman from new jersey, a member of the house subcommittee on energy and commerce, mr. lance, one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for one minute. mr. lance: thank you, mr. speaker. and i rise in strong support of chairman upton's legislation, which will provide much-needed certainty and relief for millions of americans, including 800,000 in new jersey. regarding this issue, "the new york times" editorializes this morning that the president has damaged his credibility and it is uncertain how he can earn it back, earn back the public's trust. i would suggest support of this bipartisan legislation will earn back the president's trust. this matter should be addressed legislatively and permanently and not administratively and temporarily as the president suggested yesterday. it is time for us to work
together. i strongly support chairman upton's legislation and i am sure it will pass in a bipartisan fashion and there will be bipartisan support in the other house. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey yields back. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. california. mr. waxman: mr. speaker, we reserve our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, i would yield two minutes to the gentleman from louisiana, a member of the health subcommittee, dr. cassidy, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from louisiana is recognized for two minutes. mr. cassidy: thank you, mr. speaker. you know, for the last 30 years i've worked in a hospital for the uninsured and what i've learned is that unless you trust the families, unless you give power to the patient, you truly cannot make good medical decisions. and so it comes to mind, i mean, my gosh, this is an email i got from someone who is my age, mid 50's, she says that we just got a letter from our health care provider, we had a major medical with a $10,000 deductible. we've lost that. we were told the insurance is not acceptable as written so now
our new policy has a $7,000 deductible and it costs us $10,000 more a year. the deductible goes down by $3,000, their people are upup by $10,000. this is not -- the premium up by $10,000. frankly, i don't know if we can reconstruct the private insurance market, it may have been decimated by the affordable care act. the last chance probably was the resolution on the senate side in which it was pointed out that as many as 80% of americans would lose their individual policies, but every democrat voted against that resolution. but, if there's a hope it is the keep your health plan act, which allows the policies to be resold , to occasionally be tweaked and, by the way, to be sold to others. preserving if you will the power of big numbers which is key to the insurance industry. now, the other options the
president, the others on the senate side don't allow these policies to be sold to others and so without allowing that, of course they are eventually going to be actuarialy unsound and collapse. it is a sleight of hand, which is disingenuous in terms of its intent. we must give power to the patient, we must trust families we should pass the keep your health plan act. allow families to make their own decisions. i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is ecognized. mr. waxman: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentlelady from new york, ms. velazquez. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york is recognized for two minutes. ms. velazquez: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, let's be clear about the bill before us today. this bill is not an attempt to help americans keep their insurance plans. the president already announced a plan to help address that
goal. instead, this bill takes a meat cleaver approach, allowing insurance companies to market inadequate policies to new enrollees. remember the bad old days when pre-existing conditions were discriminated against? this bill brings back that practice. remember women paying more for coverage simply because of their gender? that's a ok under this bill. remember the insurance company stopped paying when the consumer came down with an expensive illness? that's back, too. what about small businesses? facing double digits hikes in their premium costs. if we want to take up targeted legislation helping those whose policies are being discontinued, then let's do that. but let's call this bill what
it is. a return to the days when insurance companies preyed on working families. and the 36th attempt to -- 46th attempt to repeal the affordable care act. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, i would yield one minute to the gentleman from west virginia, mr. mckinley, a member of the energy and commerce committee, one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia is recognized for one minute. mr. mckinley: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise today to be the voice for the citizens of the first district of west virginia and support house bill 3350. let me share just two of the messages of thousands we have received. linda writes, i am losing my health insurance due to obamacare. my policy has been canceled. i'm being forced to enter the exchange. i liked my current polcy. under the exchange i'll be forced to pay $200 more. i am being hurt by obamacare. this simply isn't fair.
and sherry told us, my parents, both retired, received a letter from their insurance company letting them know their new rates starting in january. the increase is so much they can't afford it. i pray that they can continue to receive the health care that they choose so they can continue to be healthy. they deserve better. mr. speaker, these are only two of the stories out of the thousands we could share. consequently i'm urging my colleagues to support this particular legislation. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. waxman: mr. speaker, we reserve the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from michigan. mr. upton: i might ask parliament inquiry, how much time remains on both sides? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california has six minutes. the gentleman from michigan has 12 3/4. mr. upton: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from colorado, mr. gardner. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado is recognized for two minutes.
mr. gardner: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the chairman of the committee for his work on this bill and the legislation before us. . speaker, 250,000 coloradoans have had their health care plans canceled. i joined them. here's my letter as one of the insurance policies i held, one of the insurance policyholders in colorado, i, too, had my insurance canceled. over 250,000 people who had health care plan, they were told they could keep, but they won't be able to. know elfrom eastern colorado called me to tell me his insurance has been canceled. insurance he liked, he was promised by the president he would get to keep. mr. speaker, he tells the story that he has two kids, a third on the way. he tells the story that his premium is going to go up by about $400 as a result of the changes under the health care bill. and that with the addition of his third child, it will go up
another $300 more a month. this family doesn't make much money. for eastern colorado, they do better than others. they bring home $500 a month. -- 5,000 a month. to see that kind of health care cost increase when they were promised if they like their health care bill they could keep it is simply wrong. we have been accused in this bill of rolling back the law. this bill does one thing, it rolls back a broken promise. it rolls back a broken promise so that we can keep our health care plans so that the 250,000 people in colorado can keep their health care plan. and, in fact, it does go back. it goes back to a time when president obama promised the american people that if they liked their health care plan they could keep it, period. it goes back to a time when kathleen sebelius, secretary of h.h.s. said, if you like your health care plan, you can keep it. it goes back to a time when the
majority who passed the legislation in the house and in the senate said, if you like your health care plan, you can keep it. period. i thank the chairman for his leadership. i thank the speaker. yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from oregon, member of the ways and means committee , mr. blumenauer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oregon is recognized for two minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you. i appreciate the gentleman's courtesy. the expectation that somehow the elements of the affordable care act would not be implemented is simply false. people can keep health insurance, but there are always going to be the new standards to make sure that people no longer have insurance in name only. that's what we heard about repeatedly in the efforts to
try to reform the health care system. people had great health care plans until they got sick. we have minimum standards going forward. and all plans will be required to meet those standards. that was in the law and that is reasonable. we are in the midst of the greatest, most significant reform of health care in a generation. and it's already having significant effects. medical inflation, medical cost inflation, is at a 40-year low over the course of the last three years. we have significant expansion of coverage already. hundreds of thousands of people in lower incomes have been able to have access to health care for the first time. small businesses that had been burdened for years by health care costs now get access to tax credits. and it gets better for them going forward. it is, i think, ironic for people to talk about somebody
losing access to a doctor who is no longer in the network. that happens every year. it happened previously. it will happen in the future. unless you're going to somehow sentence doctors to participate in plans. you can't force them. and shedding crocodile tears because there are some plans .hat are canceled in this individual insurance market, routinely 40%, 50%, 60% every year are turned over. i sat on the floor -- may i have 30 additional seconds? mr. waxman: yield additional 30 seconds. mr. blumenauer: i sat on the floor and heard my colleague from oregon, mr. walden, talk about a very attractive family from southern oregon that are somehow going to now face $12,000 deductibles. i want to do a deep dive with greg, find out what is going on with that family. because what we have found people have been using
obamacare as an excuse for some things that are going to happen anyway, or people misunderstand. let's do this together, let's explore these areas, let's give people information going forward. and let's make the system work better, not create a parallel system that will make it work worse. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan. mr. upton: mr. speaker, at this point i'd like to yield one minute to the gentleman from florida, mr. bilirakis, a member of the health subcommittee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for one minute. mr. bilirakis: thank you, mr. speaker, and thank you, mr. chairman, for sponsoring this great bill. in my state of florida 300,000 individuals have lost their health care plans due to obamacare, and hardworking americans like my constituent, mark, are being adversely affected by this law. mark currently has a plan that he likes. obamacare will take it away. his new equivalent plan on the exchange comes with a $12,000
deductible and $1,000 monthly premiums. he and his wife are about 60 years old and do not qualify for subsidies. while they live they are healthy, very healthy, they are punished, mr. speaker, and i don't understand t they are punished by the president's health care law. that's why i'm proud to be an original co-sponsor of keep your health plan act. to move the -- remove the barriers preventing hardworking americans from keeping their health care plans under obamacare. we need to pass this bill so we can give the american people the peace of mind they deserve. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: mr. speaker, we continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, at this point i would yield one minute to the gentleman from nebraska, mr. terry, member of the energy and commerce committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from nebraska is recognized for one minute. mr. terry: mr. speaker, this is
really about trust. and people like andrea from omaha feels like that trust has been violated. it's been broken. she was told that she could keep her policy, but then she received her letter saying that you cannot keep your policy. now a working mom with two young children, her family's remium has risen from -- to -- $770 it from $450 per quarter. her responsibility for co-insurance is now 50%, up from what it was before at 15%. her out-of-pocket costs rose to over $2,000. and she's paying more for less now. this isn't a better policy as we have been told. it takes a big chunk of their family budget. unfortunately under obamacare she can't keep her plan, she gets more with less. i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california continues to reserve. mr. waxman: we'll continue to reserve our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentleman from kentucky, mr. guthrie. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky is recognized for one minute. mr. guthrie: i rise today in support of this legislation allowing individuals to keep their plans through 2014. yesterday my colleagues and i shared powerful stories of many of our constituents who have experienced cancellations and massive rate increases due to obamacare. in addition to these individuals i have many more stories of kentuckians seeing their plans canceled due to obamacare. most recently sylvia wrote to me her coverage was canceled and she so far has been unable to get insurance. h.r. 3350 will allow insurance companies to continue offering 2013 plans, which would benefit the millions of americans who have seen their current plans canceled. the american people were told repeatedly if they like their plan they could keep it. house republicans today are trying to honor that promise.
i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. mr. waxman: we continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, at this point i'd like to yield one minute to the gentleman from tennessee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. upton: dr. row. the speaker pro tempore: gentleman from tennessee is recognized for one minute. mr. roe: i rise in support of the keep grur health care plan act. this bill is important for many people in my district, including jo ann. jo ann lives in limestone,town tfpblet because policy doesn't meet the minimum requirements set by obamacare, she's been forced to buy more expensive health care plan. her premiums will rise from about $95 a month to $200 a month. she felt $95 was affordable, $200 not. despite promises of more affordable health care this law is making insurance unattainable for many across my home state. blue cross and blue shield of tennessee is our state's largest insurer and it's
announced it will be forced to send 66,000 cancellation notices to my fellow tennesseans because of obamacare. the medicaid business plan called covered tennessee, another 60,000 loose their care. it's well past time for president obama to work with members of congress to provide relief to the families hurting because of this law. i urge my colleagues to support the keep your health care plan act and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. continues to reserve. the gentleman from michigan. mr. upton: how much time each side has. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan has seven minutes remaining. the gentleman from california 3 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. upton: at this point i yield one minute to the gentleman from north carolina, mr. meadows. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized for one minute. mr. meadows: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of h.r. 3350, the keep your health plan act. i'd like to thank chairman upton for bringing this bill forward. despite president obama's reassurances that if you like your health care plan you can
keep it, 3.5 million plans have already been canceled because of obamacare. . cynthia told me about her family recently. she and her husband and three boys have a premium that was $300, has now risen to $1,206, mr. speaker. now, the rhetoric from the democrats have said that the republicans are only interested in pushing for a repeal of the health care law rather than fixing it. but this is just not true. so far this congress, republicans have introduced 102 bills designed to fix the broken areas of obamacare. the democrats by contrast a mere 17. republicans are bringing another fix today, mr. speaker, to the house floor. the keep your health care plan allows families across the country like cynthia's to keep their policies without a penalty. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time.
the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: continue to reserve our time. the speaker pro tempore: continues to reserve. the gentleman from michigan. mr. upton: mr. speaker, i'll yield two minutes to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. kelly. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for two minutes. mr. kelly: mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of 3350 and thank the gentleman. this is a piece of legislation that protects the people, not a political party, not politicians, not presidents who don't keep promises. this is a letter i got from melissa in pennsylvania. she's a college student paying for her own education. she's working part-time at minimum wage at local grocery store, paying what she calls an 70 per month for her health care coverage. because of the affordable care act, her hours at the store have already been cut back and now to add insult to injury, she's been notified by the insurance provider that because of obamacare, she will be canceled after another year and that she's going to be forced to choose a plan that costs triple what she's paying now. now, her mom also sent a letter to our office, a letter
desperation stating that her insurance provider, the one she's always relied on, has now informed her that she will no longer be covered after november 25. in her letter to our office, melissa write when my daughter or i purchase our own health care in an attempt to be self-sufficient in this country, we're penalized. we're not rewarded. mr. president, just keep your promise. i can't believe for three years we've told people you can keep these policies, you don't have to worry about it, period. you like your doctor, you can your doctor, period. and now we find out that it was all just talk. and that's what this country's fed up with. they're tired of the talk that comes out of washington, they want to have people start representing them, that's what we're here to do. both sides of the aisle, ladies and gentlemen, both sides of the aisle. it's time to stop the spin. i really feel sorry for the people that sit in the gallery here who need to put seatbelts in, this room spins so fast sometimes it's hard for them to walk straight had they walk out
of here. but i'll tell you what, our party will continue to commit ourselves to doing what's right for the american people. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania yields back. members are reminded to direct their remarks to the chair. the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: we continue to reserve our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan. mr. upton: parliamentary inquiry. may i ask the gentleman from california how many speakers you have left? mr. waxman: we have two speakers. mr. upton: two speakers. we just have two speakers as well. myself and mrs. ellmers. mr. speaker, i'll yield two minutes to the gentlelady from north carolina. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from north carolina is recognized for two minutes. mrs. ellmers: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to -- in support of h.r. 3350, to keep your health care plan act of 2013. you know, as my colleagues across the aisle have pointed out, over and over and over again, the a.c.a. is law. but it cannot simply be undone by the white house and it does call on us in the congress to do
so. you know, mr. speaker, we women in this country make 80% of the health care decisions and women in this country have now been told by the president and our democrat colleagues that the health care choices that they've made to cover their families are not adequate. in fact, they're being called subpar. and they're trying to intervene. they're trying to keep the women in this country from providing that good, sound health care coverage for their families. that is why we are voting on this bill today, mr. speaker. we're voting on it because these are good decisions that have been made by the american people, they're good decisions that have been made by the moms across this country for their families. and we need to do everything we can to protect that. so i call on my colleagues to vote yes on h.r. 3350, so that women in this country can continue to do the good job they're doing for their families and provide good health care
coverage. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. waxman: mr. speaker, i yield a minute to the democratic leader, the gentlelady from california, 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. and i commend him for his great leadership, in helping to pass the affordable care act. honoring the vows of our founders for liberty, the freedom to pursue their happiness. life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. healthier life, freedom to pursue that happiness. you know, it's a funny thing when people talk about washington, d.c., and how people don't get along well. we disagree. we have major disagreements on policy. and one of them is whether health care is a right for all in our country or a privilege