Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns delivered the weekly GOP Address on Health Care.
Here is the video and the transcript follows. Enjoy!
“Hi, I'm Senator Mike Johanns of Nebraska.
“My Republican colleagues and I have a simple test for reforming health care: Will this legislation improve your life?
“Here's what I mean: Americans face rising health care costs, and it's increasingly difficult to get access to health care. True health care reform should decrease what you're paying, and make it easier for you to receive care. That should be a no-brainer.
“Yet current proposals in Congress don't accomplish this goal, and could even have the opposite effect, negatively impacting each and every one of us.
“To the working mother with a disabled child who uses a Flexible Spending Account and those pre-tax dollars for treatment, medicine, and therapy for your child: this plan will end these accounts as we know them today, and result in increased out of pocket costs.
“To the factory worker, who has forgone pay raises for the promise of better insurance benefits for you and your family: your health insurance will be taxed and your premiums will go up.
“To the recent college graduate burdened with student loans: you'll be forced to buy health insurance the government mandates, and if you refuse, you'll be hit with a penalty.
“To our seniors, who wish to receive care in the comfort of their homes: funding for hospice care and home health care services would be cut.
“My state, Nebraska, stands to lose $126 million for home health services, and many of the 38 Nebraska hospices would be in danger of literally shutting their doors. Nearly $500 billion will be cut from Medicare nationwide.
“The bottom line is this: we're nearing 10 percent unemployment. We have a record budget deficit, and many families are working hard just to put food on the table and to pay the bills. Yet, there's no doubt about it: these proposals will negatively impact pocketbooks and paychecks across America.
“President Obama has promised open deliberations in front of C-SPAN cameras for all Americans to learn how reform will impact them. However, a 1,500 page bill, full of carve-outs and backroom deals, is currently being brokered behind closed doors.
“We're about to significantly alter one-sixth of our economy—now is not the time to shut Americans out.
“Reports of this deal-making are shameful. Why do Michigan, Rhode Island, Oregon and Nevada get special deals on Medicaid costs? Why do New Yorkers with Cadillac plans get a pass on paying the tax? It is shameful.
“So now, as a select few deliberate over legislation that will mean higher premiums across the board; higher taxes for hard-working families; and cuts to Medicare for senior citizens; I ask: will this improve your life?
“Republicans are in favor of lowering costs, reforming insurance so Americans can get care when they need it, and providing assistance for those who can't afford insurance.
“See, we stand ready with ideas to tackle those challenges. But hundreds of pages filled with backroom deals, higher insurance premiums, higher taxes, and cuts to Medicare are not the answer.
“I am Senator Mike Johanns of Nebraska. Thank you for your time.”