2009-11-19 / Front Page

Congressman Broun speaks on healthcare reform at fund-raiser

Congressman Paul Broun (second from right) spoke at a fund-raising dinner held Tuesday, November 17, at Soap Creek Restaurant. Pictured are: (l-r) John Stone, communications director for Congressman John Carter of Texas; Mike McCombs; Ernie Guthrie; Congressman Broun; and Ben McWhorter. Congressman Paul Broun (second from right) spoke at a fund-raising dinner held Tuesday, November 17, at Soap Creek Restaurant. Pictured are: (l-r) John Stone, communications director for Congressman John Carter of Texas; Mike McCombs; Ernie Guthrie; Congressman Broun; and Ben McWhorter. Healthcare was the burning issue at a fund-raiser held for Congressman Paul Broun on Tuesday, November 10, at Soap Creek Restaurant.

Approximately 75 people were in attendance.

After dinner, Broun wasted no time in describing the impact of the healthcare reform bill, passed recently by the United States House of Representatives.

"As a physician, I can tell you the bill will destroy the quality of healthcare in America because it's going to put a government bureaucrat between you and your doctor. It will also destroy the economy of this country."

He then described the "scoring process," the method by which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) computes the cost of implementing legislation, as "zombie economics." "You have to be a dead person walking around in a daze with no soul to believe the economic theories found in that bill. As it stands, it will cost at least $1.5 trillion to implement the bill."

If the Senate adopts the bill, Georgians will likewise be affected by changes in Medicaid eligibility. It is estimated the state will have to pay an additional $1 billion to cover Medicaid payouts over the next decade.

The congressman pointed out that the state is already experiencing a budget shortfall as evidenced by furloughs for teachers.

"Can you imagine what a $1 billiondollar hit on the state economy will be like? They will have to raise taxes or cut services even further or both. It's going to destroy the budgets of individuals as well. The cost of every single service and product in this country will go up because of the increased taxes on businesses and industry needed to help fund this bill."

Broun went on to say there would also be an increase in all healthcare costs. "The CBO said the bill is not going to even lower the cost of healthcare. It's going to go up faster than if Congress did nothing."

Concerning associated costs, it has been estimated that five and one-half million jobs will be lost with the (Nancy) Pelosi Healthcare Bill, the congressman continued. Most of the jobs will fall by the wayside as a result of the bill's impact on small businesses.

In his concluding remarks on the healthcare bill, Broun said he is not sure if it will make it through the Senate. "Moreover, I believe it is unlikely that enough votes will be obtained in the Senate for a compromise between the two bodies. We'll just have to wait and see."

He then outlined components of the healthcare bill he introduced in the House. "The bill would put you and your doctor in charge of how healthcare dollars are spent. In addition, it would fix Medicare and make everybody's healthcare expenses tax deductible."

Commenting on the "outrageous spending" under the present Democratic leadership, Dr. Broun warned that these policies will wreck the future of the country's children and grandchildren. "We are borrowing and spending our grandchildren's future.

"While some progress may be seen as a result of the stimulus bill, most of the spending has gone to create bigger government in Washington, D.C."

Dr. Broun further described increases in spending by Democratic leaders as "steamroller socialism." "We've got to stop the spending."

Following the congressman's remarks on the healthcare bill and current spending practices, he entertained questions from the floor.

Answering a question concerning maintaining water levels at Clark's Hill Lake, the congressman told the audience about his chance encounter with Major General Merdith W.B. (Bo) Temple, deputy commander for civil and emergency operations for the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

"While waiting for a bus outside the congressional office building, I met Gen. Temple, who was leaving the building, and learned that his division was responsible for flood control and multiple water resource projects.

"I said, 'General, your folks in Georin gia are radically mismanaging the water resources in the Savannah River Basin, and we need to change it.'"

According to Broun, the general came to his office later with his staff for a meeting, which resulted in a positive dialogue with Col. Edward J. Kertis, who is the corps' Savannah District director.

At the close of his remarks, Congressman Broun said he is working to free up the market place from tax and regulatory burdens. "As a physician, I listen to people to find solutions to their problems, and that's what I'm doing as your congressman. I want to do everything I can for your county and your community."

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