tv [untitled] May 7, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm EDT
i ask my colleagues to put the health of women and children above tax breaks for corporations that ship jobs overseas by voting for this motion. thank you. i yield back. >> thank you. and i yield five minutes to my colleague from texas, representative dorgan. >> i thank my colleague for her leadership on this. like the last motion, this one deals with the real-life struggle of so many american families. it may be a family with a sick child or a disability who suddenly find themselves facing bankruptcy, because of their lack of access to our health care system. it may be a senior with pa parkinson's in a nursing home, or it may be a young woman who needs breast screening a mammography, to avoid a threatening health condition. the last debate we had about this health care issue is as if
the people who sit around this table came from different planets. at least they come from very different life experiences. i see the people that we're talking about. i talk with them. i interact with them. i have a senior come up at a neighborhood office hours and tell me that the state medicaid program will cover only three of the five prescriptions that the doctor said were essential to their health care. we were told by our republican colleagues in response to the last motion, don't worry. it's a phony number that 400,000 people will be denied health care, because we plan to repeal all of the affordable health care act, and they wouldn't have gotten coverage anyway. what kind of a response is that? and then the suggestion of, all they're really doing is they're just kind of scrubbing it down. they are just going to eliminate the waste. they're going to eliminate the fraud in the medicaid program.
well, there has been fraud in the medicaid program. some of the most significant fraud has been by pharmaceutical manufacturers in our state and across the country. and i think we ought to do everything we can to prevent that fraud. but why should the woman who needs breast cancer screening, the child who needs diabetes screening, the child who needs an immunization, why should they pay for that fraud that we haven't done enough to ferret out? and so we get to this motion. and the whole idea of trying to reduce health care costs. and i think it's a significant part of the affordable health care act to reduce long-term health care costs, not only by trying to limit some of the growth in the expenditures, but trying to prevent the knneed fo the health care service in the first place. i've been to a number of events recently where i have seen individuals who have severed limbs. in some cases, more than one severed limb, and are in a wheelchair. and it's because their diabetes got out of control.
because that diabetes wasn't prevented. diabetes is almost at an epidemic stage in some parts of texas that i represent. and this motion is about trying to prevent the conditions like diabetes, before they get run away. before they cost us even more money and hospital costs in lost productivity, not to mention the lost joy of life of being able to get around. i was just this past weekend at the kolman race for the cure, and we'll have thousands in san antonio. so much of the focus of that race for the cure is about prevention. it's about roo it's about reaching out and helping women get the care they need before they might develop some form of breast cancer. that's what this motion is about. about assuring the resources for prevention. and the affordable health care act, it was the american cancer
society that said a person who lacks health insurance, and who develops cancer, whether it's breast cancer or some other form of cancer, has a 60% greater chance of dying than someone who has insurance. that's what the affordable health care act of which this prevention part is a piece is all about. and then there's the question of how we pay for it, because we do pay for this motion. we have a number of provisions in our tax laws that favor the export of american jobs. and through this motion, ms. schwartz choses those tax loopholes and pays for prevention by preventing the loss of american jobs and we have a terrible problem with the export of our intellectual property, because of the incentives for loopholes and tax dodges our tax code provides there, and some of those loopholes can be closed through this. i yield back, and thank you for your leadership.
>> thank you. and i just wanted to just take a couple more minutes to be very clear, again, about the choice that we are making here. the republicans have made the choice to protect those special provisions for some of our largest corporations in taxpayer subsidies for their moving jobs overseas. it is not something i think most americans in any of our districts are really kited about, having their tax dollars be used for. but instead of using a few of those dollars -- this is -- where this isn't even -- all of those dollars or most of those dollars. it's just a few of those dollars, asking some of our corporations to -- which some of them are willing to do, is to say, all right, i don't need those special provisions anymore to ship jobs overseas. we're going to instead use those dollars and make sure that we do protect a fund that actually is being -- is using dollars in some of the most effective way possible, both the short-term and the long-term in improving
outcomes for individuals, but also in saving dollars. so, you know, understand that every -- every bipartisan or nonpartisan commission has said that the only way that we're going to be -- if we're serious about deficit reduction, the only way we're going to get there is through spending cuts and some new revenues. or eliminating some of these tax expenditures, these special tax provisions, some like to see the tax rate lowered, but i'll get rid of these special tax provisions for some of these companies and that's what we should do. the democrats absolutely believe that we have to reduce the deficit. that we have to reach balance, that we have to finally get to repaying this debt. it is not going to happen. it is not possible. to happen. over the backs of women seeking early mammograms. it's kids, who we recognize their hearing loss early on, they can be more successful in school. they can be more productive. that it is not taking the money
out of training our nurse practitioners who can provide that primary care that is so essential. it is so much smarter as americans if we use a balanced approach to deficit reduction. and that means spending cuts, and it also means making sure that we ask our largest, biggest corporations to give up some of those taxpayer subsidies to help us be able to meet some of our responsibility and reduce costs and improve health in this country. that's what this choice is about. republicans are really clear where they are. protect those big corporations, protect those tax loopholes that send our jobs overseas. and eliminate some of the public health provisions that really -- and expenditures that can make the biggest impact in the way we actually help people with chronic diseases and help prevent people from getting sicker. before we close this part and we'll have a chance for rebeauty al, i know, i did want to yield three minutes to my colleague, and ranking member of this
committee, chris van holland. >> thank you -- i thank the gentle lady, and i want to thank you and ms. wasserman schultz for offering this amendment. and i think we've heard the case very clearly for why this prevention fund is so important. i just want to emphasize one point, which is that this motion doesn't add one penny to the deficit. what my colleagues are proposing is that instead of cutting 100% of the prevention funds that are used for the kind of cancer screening and other health prevention efforts that we've heard about, that we instead pay for those by closing down a lot of these tax loopholes that actually reward american corporations that ship jobs overseas. i heard our friend from texas, the republican gentleman from texas, earlier talking about some of the loopholes exploited by apple. well, i hope he will join us then on this amendment. i hope he will join us, because we all read that "new york times" article and it's not just
apple. there are lots of multinational corporations that exploit these tax loopholes. that particular article talked about tax strategies employed by a lot of multiple -- lots of multinational corporations with, quote, the double irish with a dutch sandwich. that's a particular scheme by which you channel your profits through the netherlands and then on through other -- the cayman islands. there are all sorts of these devices. what this motion does is say, let's just ask the rules committee to make an order, and an amendment, that says instead of cutting $12 billion out of the health prevention fund, we can find $12 billion in closing some of these international corporate loopholes. surely given some of the comments of our colleagues, we can do that, at the very least. there are hundreds of billions of dollars in this area. we are losing lots of dollars that could be invested here through tax havens.
and so it doesn't seem much to ask the rules committee to put in order an amendment that says let's not slash the health prevention fund. let's work together to find efforts to find ways to close these tax loopholes that we all know are being exploited. so i really hope that we will take the balanced approach again. the discussion today is going to be not one about whether or not we should reduce the deficit. it's going to be how we do that. and unfortunately, we just saw an amendment voted down that would have helped protect kids' health, and unfortunately, people want to instead protect some of these tax breaks for big oil companies. we now have another very clear choice, and i hope we will make the right choice. and i thank the gentle lady. >> thank you. and i yield back. >> does anyone wish to claim
time in opposition? >> mr. chair, i oppose the motion. >> the gentle lady from tennessee is recognized for 30 minutes. and thank you, mr. chair. and i'm going to agree with the other side of the aisle on this, the preventative medicine is a very important part of our health care system. there is no doubt about that. but it seems as though the other side of the aisle thinks that two years ago, we just woke up and went, wow, preventative care is really important, let's do something about it. well, to the contrary of that, over the last 40 years, i have been in medicine, and i have seen preventative health and it does work. as my colleagues noted, a number of those programs that help our children and our women, and really population in general, whether it's autism and hearing loss screening or whether it's breast and servelca cancer screening or chronic diseases, which absolutely are eating up a big part of our health care system and the dollars, there's no doubt that preventative medicine would help in this area. certainly, training primary care professionals, especially those that work in the rural areas is
extremely important. and diabetes. i've actually worked at a diabetes clinic and seen the results of good teaching and preventative medicine. however, we didn't just wake up yesterday, and decide that this was a good thing to do. as a matter of fact, we are appropriating dollars in all of these various areas to help with preventive medicine. and those dollars are appropriated, and if we want to grow those areas, i think that's something that's a good discussion for this committee, and for congress in general. but setting up an additional fund where there's not accountability and there's not coordination is not a good use of our dollars. and so we set up a fund of $15 billion over the next ten years, and we give this slush fund authority to the secretary of hhs, with broad discretion and very little accountability. and i don't think this really is the best use of our dollars when we already have programs that if we agree those dollars are well-spent that we put those in
those programs we know are proven and working and are effective. but let me just point to a couple of those programs that have been used in this part of the prevention program, and it's called communities putting prevention to work. and i'm going to read a few of these, and i hope that the general public will hear this as i read these, and i want to know back from the people that are listening whether they believe that these are programs that are effective for our children, our women, and our population in general, because, you know, generally, when i take care of people, i don't go like, well, that's a woman, maybe i better take care of her. or that's a child. because we keep hearing as those are of the most important people, we should take care of everyone. here are just a few examples. i want to know if everybody agrees this is the best use of our dollars. here's one from my very own city of nashville. they received $7.5 million in the community putting prevention to work grant.
and they provided free pet spading and neutering. now, i would challenge folks to let me know, and maybe there is a good use that i can draw a connection between that money being used there and other prevention. here's another one. $1 million was used in the city of boston for urban gardening. now, growing vegetables and fruits is probably a good idea, but do we want to really put $1 million there? i can tell you if we took $1 million and gave it to some of the diabetes organizations that are doing preventative medicine or research, they would like that $1 million and consider that a whole lot more important than urban gardening. i'm going to give you another example, and there are many more here. but in the philadelphia department of public health, they used their taxpayer-funded grant to push for higher state cigarette excise tax rates. so i -- i would say that smoking, obviously, is not good for our health. but should we really use it to
lobby for increased taxes on an industry? i'm not sure that's a good way to spend our money. again, i think the better way is to take a look at what is already there. we didn't just wake up two years ago and go, preventive medicine is a good thing. let's not have all these little pots of money and these slush funds around without accountability and coordination. they need to be coordinated. now, moreover, here is the point. president obama and the congressional democrats have already been on record supporting cuts in this very program. and in september of 2011, president obama recommended stripping $3.5 billion from the fund to reduce the federal deficit. likewise, in the president's budget, in february of 2012, the president submitted his fiscal year 2013 budget request to congress proposing to cut this fund by $4 billion.
once again. we have agreement here. and on february the 17th of 2012, congress enacted the middle class tax relief and job creation act, and the president signed this legislation which reduced this fund by $5 billion. so we do have agreement here. given the bipartisan agreement of cutting the slush fund, it's clear that any attack that says that the elimination of this is a war on children or a war on women is just again for political gain. and i'm disappointed in that. we all need to lock arms and use our very limited dollars from hard-working taxpayers. that's where it comes from. to make sure that we're spending it to the highest level of accountability and coordination and results as we possibly can. and with that, i yield five minutes to my colleague from georgia, mr. woodal. >> i thank my colleague for
yielding. i thank her for her 40 years of service on the ground in this area. we talk about these issues, as you say, as if it's the first time they have come to anybody's attention. and some folks have been working in those areas not just with somebody else's dollars, but with their own heart and their own labor. and i thank you for that. i serve on the rules committee, so this would show up on my desk if it were to pass. one is talking about whether or not we ought to eliminate the slush fund, as my colleague has outlined so very well and the other part is talking about whether or not we should solve issues in our tax code. and let me say, i'm a sponsor of legislation that would absolutely eliminate the very tax code provisions that this motion seeks to eliminate. i have absolutely no issue. in fact, i was proud to support this committee's budget that flattened rates, that broadened the base that deals with these issues. we have in this country a worldwide tax system, one of the only industrial economies in the world that still does. and it makes us uncompetitive.
we're looking for all sorts of ways to try to stay competitive. in fact, when they had a hearing on that just the other day, the ranking member -- the democratic member of the select revenue committee said this. his name is richard neal from massachusetts. he said, there's one thing we can all agree on, it's our corporate and international tax rules need to be reformed. the united states has one of the highest statutory corporate rates in the world, which many economists say act as a barrier to domestic investment. when we talk about a barrier to domestic investment, of course folks coming out of school today are taking twice as long to find a job as they did in january 2009 when this president was sworn in. twice as long to find a job today than four years ago. what's different than today from four years ago? well, we've been doing a lot of this slush fund spending. we've done a lot of borrowing from folks, we've done a lot of punishing of industry. we can absolutely lower rates and flatten the code. we can absolutely eliminate deductions and exemptions.
but pick ong one industry at a time is counterproductive. and i want to ask my colleagues this. i've done some research on taxes over the years. and i found this of my friends in the corporate world. they don't have a secret drawer they can dig into to pay their tax bill. there is no secret drawer in any corporation i've ever walked into. they can either raise their cost for their consumers and thus we the people are paying that increased tax burden. they can lower the wages they're paying their employees, and thus we the people are paying that tax burden. or they can lower the rate of return to their investors, all of our senior citizens and their pension programs in which case we the people are bearing that tax burden. and in this tough economy, i think we owe it to folks to be honest about where that burden is. we can point fingers at whatever the bogeyman industry of the month is. that bogeyman industry is represented by real seniors who are depending on a rate of return from their investments in that company. it's represented by real people
who work in that corporation, who need that job to support their family, to pay for that health care. i was listening with dismay earlier when we were talking about all of the middle class families who needed access to food stamps. middle class in america -- the middle class in america i know is not the food stamp class in america. middle class of america is an independent class in america. and if we are lowering our understanding of what it means to be middle class, we need to raise our standards to a higher level. we want focus to be beyond government assistance. and we want folks to know, whenever we raise taxes on corporations, we're just going to end up asking the american people, the american consumer, to bear that burden. but as i listen to the spending part of this motion, talking about all of the terrible things that were going to happen if we zeroed out this less than $12 billion, zeroed out the rest the president has not already zeroed out, as was his encouragement earlier, you know, we spend more than $800 billion a year on health care in this country. at theel federal level.
that's not the state level, that's not what individuals are spending on health care. at the federal level, more than $800 billion a year. this is $12 billion over ten years that we're zeroing out. this is less than one half of 1% of the annual spending that we do here on health care, and it is being described as if it the entire industry is going to collapse, but for this funding. if we throw more money at more institutions, my home county i grew up in, de cab county, georgia, it got $2.5 million from this fund for obesity prevention. that was called physical education in my day. i understand we in georgia have put on weight since those days. i have put on weight since those days. $2.5 million in my home state is not going to solve that for me. a little more discipline on my behalf would solve that for me. but we have almost 1 million folks living in that county.
that's $2.50 for every member of that community that we could have come up with had we decided to prioritize. how many of you have been to town hall meetings in your home district, how many of you have talked to local government folks who said you know, i wasn't really crazy about that money, but once i got the flier that said you guys are putting it away, i put in that application to get it. i come from a good, rock-solid conservative state of georgia. we put in all the largess. if you're going to send out a grant request, you're going get some proposals from the great state of georgia, not because we need it, but because you're giving it away. this was perhaps a laudable idea. perhaps. if you believe that government could be accountable of this $15 billion now, less than $12 billion. if it you believe -- but as you look at what has to be agreed upon in this committee, mistake after mistake after mistake
paying for spaying and neutering, paying for lobbying campaigns that go after industries that are critical to this country. one of these grants went to promote soda taxes in new york city. i come home from the home of coca-cola. i don't want federal dollars going to lobby against one of the finest companies, finest corporate citizens, and one of the greatest employers in the entire state of georgia. if new york doesn't like coca-cola, let them tax it. but we don't need to be funding that here. i encourage a strong no vote on this motion. again, i thank the gentle lady for her real-life experience in the area of health and human services. i don't think taking this $12 billion off the federal budget is going to undermine her life-long efforts in the least and i thank you for the time. >> thank you, mr. woodall. i would like to yield to my colleague from texas, mr. flores. >> thanks. one of the comments from the other side said that this
discussion on this motion has to do with real-life struggle of americans. and yes, it does. and it's because of the failure of the democratic economy, and the obama economy. the best solution for women's health is hire income middle class families. in other words, more paychecks, instead of more welfare. instead of more federal debt. it's more opportunity for families and less debt for our children and our grandchildren. under the reagan recovery, the net worth of middle class families grew by 27%. if we were following the reagan recovery today, if we were on the same track that that recovery was, we would have over 16 million more americans working. we would have a more robust economy. and that's what i call a balanced approach. and we would have more money to pay for women's health and everybody else's health. if we had -- we had substantially reduced our unemployment rate, we would be having growing middle class incomes instead of shrinking
middle class incomes. and provide more health care resources for women's health. alternatively, democrats want to corrupt an already bloated tax code with more owners' regulations to shove more jobs overseas, to shove more investment overseas, and to run more corporate headquarters overseas. that's what happens when you corrupt this tax code more than it's already corrupt. i agree with mr. van holland. i want to get rid of corporate tax loopholes. but i want to do it the way we proposed in the republican path to prosperity budget. and that's massive tax overhaul. so that everybody is paying at a simplified, flatter rate, and we have greater economic activity out of this, and we have greater revenues to the federal government, because we have more people working and more economic activity. not because we have higher, more corrupt tax rates and a fatter tax code. we ought to be able to do the
tax code in the same number of words we have the constitution done. so more -- again, more women's health care comes from a more robust health care system. that are run by -- that are controlled by consumers. not from a top-down obama care type of solution. where the federal government picks the winners and losers and who gets health care, who gets scarce health care and who doesn't. if you want to -- and which is going to cost two times more than was originally forecast. that's going to hurt women's health care. i want my granddaughter that's 14 months old to have great health care. but it's not going to come from washington, d.c. we've already talked earlier in this discussion today, americans don't trust washington solutions. they want main street solutions. so, again, if you want a balanced approach, let's grow revenues through comprehensive tax overhaul and let the private sector work this out instead of washington trying to think they
can do it. we've already seen what washington does with gsa and tsa and all of the other initials i named in the last discussion. with that, i yield back. >> thank you, mr. flores. and i encourage my colleagues from the other side of the aisle, that we would look at every dollar that we spend, and we would make sure that that dollar is being spent in the most wise situation that we possibly can. with accountability, with coordination. let's not segment those dollars. let's use the appropriation process that's already in place, not set up anymore of these special fund here or there, and make sure all of our dollars are used to get the best health care we can for women, children, men and folks from every age. thank you, mr. chairman, and i yield back my time. >> if it you'll yield a couple minutes. >> as much time as you may consume. >> thank you. just looking at the clock, since we had already taken the vote on
this bill, to the time we will vote on this on thursday, on the floor, by the full house, our national debt will have gone up by more than this provision saves over ten years. we will -- we will borrow more money as a government in the next three days than this provision saves in ten years. this provision -- i'll just add a couple more it's already funded. according to the presentation by the program director, the program's early success has resulted in a nine-month moratorium on fast food construction in baldwin park, california and increased taxes in south carolina. the cascade bicycle club education foundation received up to $3 million in grants awarded to seattle and king county public health and used taxpayer dollars to improve the walking and biking environment. that's what this is. we're giving a slush fund to the
secretary of health and human services to distribute it around to political cronies, to different ideas, with borrowed money in the name of prevention. and this is all borrowed money. let's not forget that. let's forget that by this time thursday, we have already borrowed more than this even saves. with that, i yield. gentle lady, i yield back. >> mr. chairman, i yield back my time. >> ms. schwartz is recognized for five minutes to close. >> thank you. i want to start by answering some of the -- i guess the charges that were raised as to reason for opposition, and then get to why this is so important and why we shouldn't do it this way and what the choices are. so first let me say that it is correct that the president agree -- suggested, and then we as democrats agreed to cut this fund, because, in fact, we