The two Republicans from Iowa who serve in congress went to the floor of the U.S. House today (Tuesday), joining other Republicans in delivering one-minute speeches criticizing the health care reform plans Democrats are pushing. Congressman Steve King, a Republican from Kiron, disputed the idea there are 47 million uninsured Americans.
“When you subtract from 47 (million) illegal aliens and immigrants and those qualify under their employer and those who make over $75,000 a year and those who qualify for government programs, you’re down to 12.1 million, not 47 (million),” King said. “That’s less than four percent of the population. They seek to overhaul 100% of the health insurance industry in America…to what? To reduce that number of uninsured from four percent down to something like, perhaps, two.”
On Monday, the top Democrat in the U.S. Senate said the health care plan that would emerge will include a so-called “public option” to compete with private insurance, but states would be allowed to “opt out” if state-level policymakers decide there is adequate insurance competition in their state. King lambasted that.
“They give us an opt out,” King said. “Well, here’s what I’ll opt out of: I’ll opt out of funding abortions; I’ll opt out of funding illegals; I’ll opt out of lawsuit abuse, tax increases and Medicare cuts.” Over an hour later, Congressman Tom Latham, a Republican from Ames, had his turn at the microphone.
“As millions go without health insurance and costs skyrocket, I strongly believe we need common sense reforms (and) that all American families can have access to affordable health coverage,” Latham said. “But the plan should not be financed by raiding the Medicare program and shifting costs onto the backs of our seniors.” Medicare is the government-run health care program for elderly Americans.
“Seniors are being asked to shoulder the burden, while getting virtually none of the benefits,” Latham said. “H.R. 3200 cuts Medicare by a total of $500 billion over the next 10 years. This includes cuts to hospitals…and home health care services.” H.R. 32-hundred is the health care reform plan which cleared the House Energy and Commerce Committee this summer. Three different House committee have drafted health care plans.
Two Senate committees have approved health care reform packages as well. Democratic Congressional leaders are now trying to merge the plans into a bill that can pass both the House and the Senate.