Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Weekly Republican Address - July 25, 2009

Cathy McMorris Rodgers
July 25, 2009— Washington, DC
Weekly Republican Address
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This is Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers from Washington state, vice-chair of the House Republican Conference.

Like millions of parents, the health of my young son is our family’s top priority. When he’s sick, my husband and I take him to the doctor and expect the doctor not to just do something, but to do the right thing to help our son get better.

This is the same philosophy I’ve brought to the ongoing health care debate in Washington, DC. Some politicians – including the president and Democratic leaders in Congress – are demanding that we do something to change our system.

I believe it’s much more important to do the right thing, which means reducing skyrocketing health care costs while protecting patients’ ability to choose the right treatments.

Unfortunately, the Democrats’ health care plan – crafted largely behind closed doors – isn’t the right thing. It’s a prescription for disaster – one that will put Washington bureaucrats in charge of your family's personal medical decisions.

Medical decisions that are some of the most personal decisions you’ll ever make. As a mother, I want to make those decisions for my son with a doctor we choose. Anything else is unacceptable.

Also unacceptable is how much this will cost you and your family. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the Democrats’ proposal will drive health care costs higher than ever.

The agency also warns that millions will be forced off their current coverage under the Democrats’ plan, even though they continue making the discredited claim that if you like your plan, you can keep it.

Millions of seniors will lose their health care choices, too, because the Democrats’ plan cuts Medicare, making it more difficult in rural areas across the country – like mine in eastern Washington – for seniors to obtain the coverage they need. The House Democrats’ plan also will add $239 billion to our deficit – $239 billion more tacked onto the tab we’re passing along to our children and grandchildren.

Families, seniors, and future generations will not be alone in struggling with this bill’s costs. America’s small businesses will pay a steep price as well. Because the Democrats’ plan is bankrolled by a small business tax, more jobs will evaporate.

We’ve lost more than three million jobs since the beginning of the year and Americans have every right to ask, “Where are the jobs?” According to the National Federation of Independent Business, the Democrats’ plan will destroy a million more small business jobs.

And according to a methodology developed by the president’s own senior economic advisor, the Democrats’ government takeover of health care will cost at least 4.7 million jobs over the next 10 years.

Because of these extraordinary costs to families, small businesses, and future generations, alarm bells are sounding across the country. One Democratic governor recently expressed concern with the bill’s cost—at a trillion dollars or more. Another called it “the mother of all unfunded mandates.”

Republicans have offered to help make a truly bipartisan plan that will improve the health of Americans, but Democrats haven’t wanted our help.

Republicans want to seize this opportunity to make health care more affordable. In the House of Representatives, we’ve outlined an alternative that reduces costs by rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse and reining in junk lawsuits that cost families millions each year in higher premiums.

Our plan lets small businesses purchase health insurance for employees at a lower cost, and for those who are uninsured now, it offers affordable choices. It reforms regulations so insurance companies compete for your business and you can shop around for the best coverage and price.

And under our plan, if you like your current health care coverage, you can keep it – no questions asked.

Finally, our plan encourages Americans to take advantage of preventive medicine and wellness programs. In the end, our real goal isn’t just to have medical coverage, but to have healthy families.

Our reforms will lower health care costs for you and your family. They won’t increase taxes on small businesses, and they won’t saddle future generations with hundreds of billions more in debt.

It’s time to do the right thing. And that starts with scrapping the Democrat’s costly plan for government bureaucracy and working in a bipartisan way to make health care more affordable and available.

Thank you for listening.

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