Upton Floor Statement: Repeal is the first step toward a better beginning

January 19, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, made the following statement today on the House floor in support of the effort to repeal Obamacare (H.R. 2):

"Mr. Speaker, today we take a step toward compassionate, innovative and job-creating health care.  It's ironic that we must end something to realize a new beginning.   But that's exactly what Obamacare has compelled us to do.  And that's precisely what we will do today.

"It's time to be honest with the American people.  Remember the Hippocratic Oath?  First, do no harm.

"Obamacare produces the opposite of growth, compassion and innovation in health care.  It destroys jobs, busts budgets, and creates an unsustainable set of mandates on individuals, employers and states.  It will stifle innovation and the development of life-saving medicines. It will make healthcare more expensive, not more affordable.

"Mr. Speaker that's not compassion; that won't produce innovation; and that's why repeal is the first step toward a better beginning.

"What's compassionate about forcing employers to provide insurance they cannot afford to employees who will lose their jobs due to Obamacare?

"What's compassionate about creating a rigid new entitlement that states are commanded to fund with money they do not have?

"What's compassionate about cutting over $200 billion from the Medicare Advantage program, leaving seniors with fewer services, higher co-pays and more out of pocket expenses?

"What's compassionate about shackling more Americans with greater government dependence?

"Obamacare was erected on a foundation of false promises:

  • "If you like what you have you can keep it."
  • "Healthcare premiums will go down."
  • "Employers will not drop coverage."
  • "Seniors won't see any changes in their Medicare benefits."

"Today we know those were only slogans - sound bites in a cynical sales pitch - and certainly not promises kept.

"Yes, today repeal will pass in the House.  And we will then embark on reform that I believe can be supported by Republicans and Democrats:

  • Ensuring those with pre-existing conditions have access to affordable coverage.
  • Allowing families to include their children up to 26.
  • Medical liability reform to reduce the unneeded cost of defensive medicine.
  • Provide incentives for employers, rather than penalties and mandates that will cost jobs and depress wages.

"Those are just some of the principles I believe we can agree with on both sides of the aisle.  So, first is repeal, then replace.  I'm ready for the challenge to put real health reform back together that is bipartisan rather than partisan and achieves the goal of lower health care costs for American families."