Remarks as Prepared for Delivery
Opening Statement of Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Markup of the America's Healthy Future Act
Sen. Kyl: During the last several months, Congress has been engaged in a vigorous debate about how to achieve health-care reform. (Despite the president's repeated claims to the contrary), we all agree¿Republicans and Democrats¿that some reforms are necessary. Costs are too high for families and businesses, too many Americans lack access to affordable options, and we need to make health insurance more available and portable.
There are two basic approaches before Congress: Reforms that impose much more government control over health care, or, reforms that provide consumers with more affordable options and keep control of health care decisions with families and doctors.
I happen to believe that the latter is the better approach¿that we must empower patients and doctors, not bureaucrats and politicians, to make health care decisions. And I think it's clear after the August recess that a majority of Americans reject a Washington takeover of health care, along with the mountains of new taxes, debt, and bureaucracy it would create.
While I appreciate the hard work of the Finance Committee chairman in trying to write a more acceptable bill, the end result is little better than the others: That is, the federal government's near total control over health insurance, and, therefore, delivery of your health care. (Along the way, it would also spend nearly a trillion dollars and cut Medicare benefits by nearly half a trillion dollars.)
The Finance Committee chairman's bill is a tangled web of federally-dictated insurance regulations, which would control every aspect of health insurance from covered benefits to permissible premiums. The bill would centralize the power of medical decisions with politicians and bureaucrats, not patients and doctors. And it would result in higher health insurance premiums, less consumer choice, and, ultimately, the rationing of health care.
How would the government take over health care under this bill?