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Floor Speeches

Healthcare Cost Reduction Act of 2012

Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, I thank the ranking member. This bill repeals the 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices used in the United States that was originally enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act. Now let's talk straight to the American people. How many bills do we have to go through until you will admit that all you're doing is trying to bleed the legislation, which is now law in the United States, so that the resources are not there to carry out the mandate? No industry gets a free pass when it comes to health care reform. All sectors of the health care industry, from pharmaceutical companies to hospitals to drug manufacturers and the medical device industry, contributed to the cost of health reform and were at the table during these discussions. How different is that? They agreed to this.

In fact, in a letter to President Obama in 2009, the medical device industry pledged to do their part in lowering health spending by $2 trillion. What made them change their mind? They committed to making health care reform a reality. They put it in writing. It's all in--it's all in--to lower health care costs. Now we've had some kind of a moral change of sorts.

Many of these companies were present when it was discussed, and they understood the long term benefits. Thanks to health care reform, the medical device industry stands to gain a lot of customers and increase a lot of revenue. According to the RAND Corporation, an estimated 33 percent of newly insured adults will be of the age 50 64, an age group when many people will need medical devices. By bringing so many new people into the insurance market, the Affordable Care Act will provide patients the opportunity to access medical devices that save and improve their lives.

This bill that we have before us is not about patient care. It is not about saving money in our health care system. It's just another attempt by the majority to dismantle health care reform piece by piece. Repealing this provision from the Affordable Care Act once again undermines financing for the law and will unfortunately do more harm than good.

Unlike what happened in the previous 8 years, we want to pay for things so we don't get ourselves deeper into debt. You don't get it. And to pay for this change, the majority once again returns to the true-up provision--how many times are you going to go there?--which only hurts the middle class, who receive needed subsidies to enter the health insurance market.

So here's what's going to happen in the health care bill: insurance companies gain a lot of new customers, adding to free enterprise. We're not against that. Medical device companies are going to get a lot of new customers, particularly in the age group which I mentioned before. We're not against free enterprise. But they agreed at the table, since they were all in, and they put it in writing, that they were willing to provide those lowering of costs of close to $2 trillion. You can't go back on a deal--let's call it that. An agreement--let's make it better.

I urge my colleagues to protect the Affordable Care Act. Vote ``no'' on this legislation. It will not bring us any closer to health care reform in this country.


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