CONDEMNING THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION'S LEGAL CAMPAIGN TO TAKE AWAY AMERICANS' HEALTH CARE; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 57
(House of Representatives - April 02, 2019)

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[Pages H2956-H2969]
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   CONDEMNING THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION'S LEGAL CAMPAIGN TO TAKE AWAY 
                         AMERICANS' HEALTH CARE


                             General Leave

  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks 
and include extraneous material on H. Res. 271.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from New Jersey?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 274, I call 
up the resolution (H. Res. 271) Condemning the Trump Administration's 
Legal Campaign to Take Away Americans' Health Care, and ask for its 
immediate consideration in the House.
  The Clerk read the title of the resolution.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 274, the 
resolution is considered read.
  The text of the resolution is as follows:

                              H. Res. 271

       Whereas on February 26, 2018, 18 State attorneys general 
     and 2 Governors filed a lawsuit in the United States District 
     Court for the Northern District of Texas, Texas v. United 
     States, No. 4:18-cv-00167-O (N.D. Tex.) (in this preamble 
     referred to as ``Texas v. United States''), arguing that the 
     requirement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act 
     (Public Law 111-148; 124 Stat. 119) (in this preamble 
     referred to as the ``ACA'') to maintain minimum essential 
     coverage is unconstitutional and, as a result, the court 
     should invalidate the entire law;
       Whereas in a June 7, 2018, letter to Congress, then 
     Attorney General Jefferson Sessions announced that the 
     Department of Justice--

[[Page H2957]]

       (1) would not defend the constitutionality of the minimum 
     essential coverage provision; and
       (2) would argue that provisions protecting individuals with 
     pre-existing conditions (specifically the provisions commonly 
     known as ``community rating'' and ``guaranteed issue'') are 
     inseverable from the minimum essential coverage provision and 
     should be invalidated;
       Whereas in the June 7, 2018, letter to Congress, Attorney 
     General Sessions also advised Congress that ``the Department 
     will continue to argue that Section 5000A(a) is severable 
     from the remaining provisions of the ACA'', indicating a 
     difference from the plaintiffs' position in Texas v. United 
     States;
       Whereas on December 14, 2018, the United States District 
     Court for the Northern District of Texas issued an order that 
     declared the requirement to maintain minimum essential 
     coverage unconstitutional and struck down the ACA in its 
     entirety, including protections for individuals with pre-
     existing conditions;
       Whereas the decision of the United States District Court 
     for the Northern District of Texas was stayed and is pending 
     appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the 
     Fifth Circuit;
       Whereas on March 25, 2019, the Department of Justice, in a 
     letter to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth 
     Circuit, changed its position and announced that the entire 
     ruling of the United States District Court for the Northern 
     District of Texas should be upheld and the entire ACA should 
     be declared unconstitutional;
       Whereas prior to 2014, individuals with pre-existing 
     conditions were routinely denied health insurance coverage, 
     subject to coverage exclusions, charged unaffordable premium 
     rates, exposed to unaffordable out-of-pocket costs, and 
     subject to lifetime and annual limits on health insurance 
     coverage;
       Whereas as many as 133,000,000 nonelderly people in the 
     United States--
       (1) have a pre-existing condition and could have been 
     denied coverage, only offered coverage at an exorbitant price 
     had they needed individual market health insurance prior to 
     2014, or had coverage for their pre-existing condition 
     excluded prior to 2014; and
       (2) will lose protections for pre-existing conditions if 
     the ruling of the United States District Court for the 
     Northern District of Texas is upheld in Texas v. United 
     States;
       Whereas contrary to President Trump's public claims that he 
     supports protections for people with pre-existing conditions, 
     he has ordered his Department of Justice to actively pursue 
     the destruction of these protections in Federal court;
       Whereas employer-provided health plans cannot place 
     lifetime or annual limits on health coverage, and if the 
     Trump Administration succeeds in its argument before the 
     court, more than 100,000,000 people in the United States who 
     receive health insurance through their employer could once 
     again face lifetime or annual coverage limits;
       Whereas if the Trump Administration succeeds in its 
     argument before the court, insurers would be allowed to 
     impose an unlimited ``age tax'' on the health insurance 
     premiums of older Americans;
       Whereas prior to 2010, Medicare enrollees faced massive 
     out-of-pocket prescription drug costs once they reached a 
     certain threshold known as the Medicare ``donut hole'', and 
     since the donut hole began closing in 2010, millions of 
     Medicare beneficiaries have saved billions of dollars on 
     prescription drugs;
       Whereas at a time when 3 in 10 adults report not taking 
     prescribed medicines because of the cost, if the Trump 
     Administration succeeds in its argument before the court, 
     seniors enrolled in Medicare would face billions of dollars 
     in new prescription drug costs;
       Whereas as of March 2019, 37 States, including the District 
     of Columbia, have expanded or are in the process of expanding 
     Medicaid to individuals with incomes up to 138 percent of the 
     Federal poverty level, providing health coverage to more than 
     12,000,000 newly eligible people;
       Whereas if the Trump Administration succeeds in its 
     argument before the court, the millions of individuals and 
     families who receive coverage from Medicaid could lose 
     eligibility and no longer have access to health care;
       Whereas as of March 2019, many people who buy individual 
     health insurance are provided tax credits to reduce the cost 
     of premiums and assistance to reduce out-of-pocket costs such 
     as copays and deductibles, which has made individual health 
     insurance coverage affordable for millions of people in the 
     United States for the first time;
       Whereas if the Trump Administration succeeds in its 
     argument before the court, the health insurance individual 
     exchanges would be eliminated and millions of people in the 
     United States who buy health insurance on the individual 
     marketplaces could lose coverage and would see premium 
     expenses for individual health insurance increase 
     exorbitantly;
       Whereas if the Trump Administration succeeds in its 
     argument before the court, people in the United States would 
     lose numerous consumer protections in their coverage, 
     including the requirements that--
       (1) plans offer preventive care without cost-sharing;
       (2) young adults have the option to remain on a parent's 
     insurance plan until age 26; and
       (3) many health insurance plans offer a comprehensive set 
     of essential health benefits such as maternity care, 
     addiction treatment, and prescription drug coverage;
       Whereas pursuant to section 516 of title 28, United States 
     Code, the conduct of litigation in which the United States is 
     a party is reserved to the Department of Justice;
       Whereas public reports suggest that the President and his 
     political advisors directed this course of action in direct 
     contravention of the Department of Justice's longstanding 
     policy to defend Acts of Congress and duty to advance 
     reasonable analysis of legal questions, for example--
       (1) when the Department of Justice changed its litigating 
     position on June 7, 2018, in the Texas v. United States case 
     to ask the court to strike down the ACA's guaranteed issue 
     and community rating requirements, thereby eliminating 
     protections for people with pre-existing conditions and 
     reinstating legal discrimination based on health status, that 
     position was found to be so legally indefensible that three 
     of the four career attorneys representing the Government 
     refused to sign the relevant briefs and removed themselves 
     from the case; and
       (2) when the Department of Justice again changed its 
     litigating position on March 25, 2019, in the appeal of Texas 
     v. United States to seek the invalidation of every provision 
     of the ACA, it was reported that decision was made over the 
     objections of both the Department of Justice as well as the 
     Department of Health and Human Services; and
       Whereas the Trump Administration has proceeded in the Texas 
     v. United States lawsuit with total disregard for the 
     consequences of its actions for the lives of millions of 
     Americans: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of 
     Representatives that--
       (1) the actions taken by the Trump Administration seeking 
     the invalidation of the ACA's protections for people with 
     pre-existing conditions, and later the invalidation of the 
     entire ACA, are an unacceptable assault on the health care of 
     the American people; and
       (2) the Department of Justice should--
       (A) protect individuals with pre-existing conditions, 
     seniors struggling with high prescription drug costs, and the 
     millions of people in the United States who newly gained 
     health insurance coverage since 2014;
       (B) cease any and all efforts to destroy Americans' access 
     to affordable health care; and
       (C) reverse its position in Texas v. United States, No. 19-
     10011 (5th Cir.).

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The resolution shall be debatable for 1 
hour, equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority 
member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  The gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pallone) and the gentleman from 
Oregon (Mr. Walden) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Jersey.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Allred), who is the sponsor of this resolution.

                              {time}  1400

  Mr. ALLRED. Madam Speaker, I thank Chairman Pallone for his 
leadership, and I am proud to lead the charge on this resolution 
condemning the administration's attacks on American's healthcare in 
Federal court.
  With the support of so many of my colleagues, this resolution puts 
the United States Congress on the record as being on the side of the 
people. As this administration seeks to tear down our healthcare 
system, this Congress will not stand by while cynical and partisan 
interests attack our healthcare system and that of hardworking 
Americans.
  Whether it is allowing young people to stay on their parent's 
insurance until they are 26, or protecting people from lifetime caps, 
or ensuring that folks with preexisting conditions get the care that 
they need, this should not be a partisan issue.
  The fight to protect preexisting conditions is personal for me. My 
mother is a breast cancer survivor and my wife Aly and I just 
celebrated the birth of our son. Both of those are preexisting 
conditions. And concern about healthcare is, by far, the number one 
issue that my constituents talk to me about back home.
  That brings me to Natalie, a lawyer with young children, Hugo and 
Mia, who is married to Nathan, a law professor at Southern Methodist 
University. Nathan recently attended the State of the Union here with 
me in Washington.
  I met Natalie on the same day that the House voted to repeal the 
Affordable Care Act. I learned that she had stage IV cancer and that 
she had come to my event from her chemotherapy treatment. She explained 
to me that her goal was to fight her cancer for as long as she could so 
that her two children would know her.

[[Page H2958]]

  Natalie came to my event that day because she was worried about 
future moms who would lose their care if the Affordable Care Act was 
repealed. She was concerned about a return to the bad old days with 
lifetime caps and discrimination against people with preexisting 
conditions.
  Sadly, Natalie passed away last year, but her fight goes on, a fight 
that I am honored to carry forward on behalf of north Texans here in 
Washington. My home State of Texas has the highest uninsured rate in 
the country. One in five people in Dallas County, where I live, do not 
have health insurance. We can and must do better.
  I urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle in the House and 
the Senate to join us in condemning these attacks on our healthcare 
system. We must make sure that we don't go back to the bad old days 
where people can get thrown off their healthcare just because they got 
sick.
  This resolution is a good first step, but we must come together to 
help our constituents by working together to pass legislation that will 
stabilize our system and lower costs for everyone.
  Mr. WALDEN. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Madam Speaker, the American people expect us to come to this floor 
with solutions, not political ``gotcha'' statements. The resolution 
before us in this week's Democratic dosage of attack on the President 
is just that. It doesn't do a darn thing to protect people with 
preexisting conditions; not one thing.
  In the opening day of the 116th Congress, House Republicans brought a 
powerful, but simple, measure to the floor that called on this body to 
legislate on what we all agree needs to be done: locking in protections 
for patients with preexisting conditions.
  Let me repeat. Republicans acted on day one of this Congress to 
protect Americans with preexisting conditions. Democrats blocked that.
  In fact, I introduced legislation which has 45 cosponsors that 
protects people with preexisting conditions. Period. This is something 
I have fought for my entire time in public service. It would lock in 
existing protections for patients. It is before the Energy and Commerce 
Committee, and I have worked since the first day of this Congress to 
get this measure passed so that if the court decision that found 
ObamaCare to be unconstitutional, if that judge's decision is upheld, 
we want to make sure that our citizens who have preexisting conditions 
still have coverage.
  The legislation I have sponsored would do that. Republicans and 
Democrats could get this done, and the question is: Why are we not 
voting on that today?
  Instead, Democrats have rushed a resolution to the floor that has 
never had a hearing before the Energy and Commerce Committee. So much 
for the talk about due process and regular order, Madam Speaker. No 
hearing, and it was rushed to the floor.
  We only got to see it for the first time last Friday. So it is little 
more, in my opinion, than a political screed, not a public policy 
proposal. It will never go to the Senate. It is only here. Americans 
ought to know this, too: that the legal case working its way through 
the courts did not immediately end ObamaCare and will not affect 
insurance coverage on premiums for 2019.
  Moreover, Democrat attorneys general and a couple of Republicans from 
intervening States are already defending the law in this case, and the 
judge's ruling has been appealed. This body has voted not once, but 
twice, to allow Speaker Pelosi to intervene in the case, and she has 
moved to do.
  Just as my Democratic colleagues have repeatedly refused to let this 
House approve protections for people with preexisting conditions, they 
also know they could moot the lawsuit that they so decry today. All 
they would have to do is bring a bill to the floor and vote to repeal 
the individual mandate. That would turn off this lawsuit.
  I am sure many on our side might be happy to join them in that 
effort. And if the Democrats didn't want to do that, they could vote to 
reinstate the individual mandate penalty. That, too, would moot the 
lawsuit. But we are not doing that either.
  So they had policy options that could have been brought to the floor, 
three of them. Two would have ended the lawsuit that they decry today, 
and one would have given rock-solid security to those with preexisting 
conditions if the law is thrown out. There is no difference between us 
or among us about protecting people with preexisting conditions.

  But, unfortunately, they chose not to actually legislate. Democrats 
control everything in this House. They decide what gets heard in 
committee or, in this case, not, and what is brought to the floor, or 
not. So it is clear they would rather play politics with healthcare and 
attack the President for political purposes rather than work with us on 
what could and should be bipartisan solutions.
  A fact that my friends on the other side of the aisle must 
acknowledge is, for many Americans seeking coverage, healthcare costs 
keep getting more and more expensive. Last week, the Bend Bulletin, a 
newspaper in my district, reported on a recent analysis by the Kaiser 
Family Foundation about how insurance premiums are out of reach for 
many older, middle-class residents of our area, particularly in rural 
areas, including my home State.
  They report: ``In central Oregon, for example, a 60-year-old 
individual with an annual income of $50,000 must pay at least $703 a 
month, representing 17 percent of his or her income, and that would 
only buy a bronze plan with a deductible of $6,500.''
  We should be focused on helping people like that be able to afford 
insurance.
  When the Affordable Care Act passed, Democrats promised people their 
insurance premiums would actually go down by $2,500. For many in 
America, that promise was false. For many Americans, healthcare costs, 
health insurance premiums, and, certainly, deductibles and copays have 
done nothing but gone up and up.
  I was in Oregon over the weekend and held seven townhalls. Do you 
know what I hear about when it comes to healthcare? That insurance 
premiums are out of reach for too many of my constituents. And for 
those who cannot afford the premiums, many make difficult choices, from 
choosing which family members to cover, to changing jobs, or limiting 
income in order to continue to qualify for subsidies. This is a real 
problem. I think we can find a bipartisan solution if Democrats are 
willing to work with us on it.
  But, plainly, the current healthcare system for too many Americans is 
not working. So we know we have more work to do, and I hope that our 
colleagues on the other side of the aisle would agree with us that we 
need to improve State markets that, in some part, were damaged by 
ObamaCare; that we should work together to lower healthcare costs and 
increase access to private health insurance.
  In the Energy and Commerce Committee, actually, there are some things 
we are working on, on drug costs. No President, in my memory, has ever 
leaned farther forward to get drug costs down for American consumers 
than President Trump. He has been an incredible leader in this effort, 
and we are going to see bipartisan work get marked up tomorrow in the 
Energy and Commerce Committee.
  So on that topic of healthcare that is so crucial to survivability of 
American consumers, we can move forward. We have proven that.
  But, meanwhile, the American people need to fully understand that the 
Democrats' one-size-fits-all, government-run plan itself would end the 
Affordable Care Act. You have to admit that. That is what your 
Medicare-for-all plan does.
  They need to understand the $32 trillion price tag for the Democrats' 
alternative and the tax increases that would be necessary to go with 
it; the doubling of the individual income tax; doubling of corporate 
tax; and providers would have to take a 40 percent reduction in their 
payments.
  Think of what the wait lines will be if that were to become law. 
Americans need to know that when the Democrats Medicare-for-all plan 
ends, employer-sponsored healthcare and your union plans you negotiated 
for, 158 million Americans who have health insurance today, will lose 
it tomorrow. They need to understand how they would have to wait longer 
for access to care than they do today.
  And for my older friends, they need to understand the worst-case 
scenario. Seniors in America need to fully understand how this plan 
does away with

[[Page H2959]]

popular Medicare Advantage plans and Medigap plans and impacts this 
proposal would have on access to their doctors and an earlier 
bankruptcy of Medicare altogether.
  So we would be better served today, and so would the American people, 
if we stood down, parked our partisan swords and shields, and worked 
together to solve the real problems Americans face when they go to pay 
their family bills.
  I had lunch today with a couple from the southern part of my 
district, professionals. They said the cost of health insurance for 
them is so high they have had to make the choice not to have it.
  This is going on every day in the marketplace, and I wish we could 
come together and spend our time on this House floor with a solution we 
could agree upon, because I think we could. But that is not what we are 
doing today.
  It is like every week there has to be a resolution on the floor to 
condemn the President, something he said or did; not a policy proposal 
that will actually solve the Nation's problems. That is all you are 
dealing with today, another screed.
  So let's work together. Let's come together as this Congress can, and 
as the Energy and Commerce Committee has had a wonderful record of 
doing over the years, and can going forward, to address healthcare and 
other issues. We can do that.
  Madam Speaker, I encourage my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this 
partisan, political resolution, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Maryland (Mr. Hoyer), our majority leader.
  Mr. HOYER. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I 
would hope that we could do what the gentleman from Oregon wants to do 
and work together in a bipartisan fashion.
  I will say to him, however, that his party was in control from 2011 
to last year, and there was almost no effort to accomplish that 
objective. There were, however, over 65 votes to repeal, and there was 
no replace. When his party won the Presidency as well, there was no 
replace. We passed something through this House that couldn't get 
through the Senate. The Senate was controlled by the gentleman's party.
  This is something that is not optional for any of our citizens. 
Healthcare is essential, and they expect us to sit down and work 
together.
  Unfortunately, today, we saw in a tweet--the President who campaigned 
on the basis of everybody was going to be covered at less cost and 
higher quality. We are now, I suppose, in about the 29th month in the 
President's term. He has sent us no bill--and this morning, he has the 
gall, in my opinion, to tell the American people: I have got a plan. It 
is secret, and I will show it to you in 2021.
  What is interesting about 2021? It is after the election.
  Elections ought to be about policy. The election of 2018 was about 
policy, healthcare, and, very frankly, our argument prevailed. Our 
argument was that we wanted to protect the Affordable Care Act; that we 
wanted to make sure that the protections included in the Affordable 
Care Act were available to all Americans.

                              {time}  1415

  Madam Speaker, I want to thank Representative Allred for introducing 
this resolution, and I rise in support of it.
  Since taking office, President Trump and his administration have been 
focused on doing everything it can to take affordable healthcare 
coverage options away from American families.
  Madam Speaker, you can make healthcare a lot cheaper. Offer them no 
coverage--it is very simple--not hospitalization, not doctors' 
reimbursement, not this, not that, and not the other. We call them junk 
policies. They pretend to be health coverage when they are not.
  The President did make two failed efforts along with his party to 
repeal the Affordable Care Act in Congress. They came after Republicans 
tried to repeal or undermine the bill in more than 65 votes during 
their years in the majority. The American people do not want to get rid 
of the Affordable Care Act, because if they did, then they wouldn't 
have us in the majority because they know we want to keep it. They want 
Congress, however, to work to improve and make our healthcare system 
work better for all Americans, and, yes, have it affordable and 
accessible.
  Instead, President Trump and Republicans have doubled down and 
tripled down on their agenda of sabotaging the law through executive 
actions on an almost weekly and monthly basis and through lawsuits like 
the one now pending in Texas.
  I am not sure who convinced the President to change his mind, but I 
have a suspicion Mick Mulvaney did. Mick Mulvaney, of course, voted 65 
times--well, I don't know that he was here every one of those votes, 
but every time he had an opportunity, he voted to repeal the Affordable 
Care Act. If the Americans wanted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, 
then they would have voted against us.
  Madam Speaker, I would tell my friend from Oregon that if it is 
partisan, it is partisan because none of you will support it, and so 
many of you campaigned on the basis of wanting to protect preexisting 
conditions. Obviously, the President changed his mind about doing that.
  All this resolution does is express the sense of this House that such 
efforts are wrong and would harm tens of millions of Americans who 
benefit from the ACA. This includes the 133 million or more Americans 
living with preexisting conditions like asthma, diabetes, cancer, et 
cetera, et cetera, et cetera, who are protected in their ability to get 
healthcare insurance.
  The actions taken by President Trump, however, and the Republicans 
would make these individuals uninsurable, forcing them and their 
families into financial hardship in order to pay for medical bills. It 
also includes older Americans for whom Republicans have proposed an age 
tax.
  It would do harm to the 20 million Americans who are now covered 
because of the Affordable Care Act who would lose their coverage as a 
result of what President Trump and Republicans in Congress are seeking 
to do. That is what the lawsuit does. This says that we don't agree 
with the lawsuit--a pretty simple proposition.
  By joining the Texas lawsuit, the Trump administration is seeking to 
allow women to be charged higher premiums than men as they used to be. 
It seeks to allow lifetime and annual limits on coverage, which the 
Affordable Care Act banned. In addition, it is trying to force 
Americans under age 26 to get coverage on their own, even if they don't 
have a job yet and are still in college.
  Preventive health visits and screenings would, once more, require 
out-of-pocket co-pays. Plans would no longer be required to cover 
essential health benefits. Now, if you don't have to cover required 
health benefits, then you are going to get a cheaper policy, not a lot 
of coverage, but a cheaper policy. The objective is not just a cheaper 
policy, it is a policy that covers your risks. If we can make it 
cheaper, then we ought to do that. Plans would no longer be required to 
cover, as I said, essential benefits such as maternity care and 
prescription drugs.
  This resolution is an opportunity to state on the Record whether 
Members support doing away with these reforms or not. Now, that doesn't 
mean you think that an alternative is perfect, it simply means that we 
either want to improve or replace it with something that is viable, 
passable, and good for the American people, whether to turn back the 
clock or look ahead, and whether to stand with the Trump administration 
as it seeks to dismantle every single piece of the Affordable Care Act, 
which it has done.
  The gentleman mentions maybe a daily resolution, well, unfortunately, 
we have daily action by the President that does things that we don't 
think are appropriate. We voted on one of those the other day where we 
appropriated money to a certain object, and the President wants to 
change it on his own. We think that was unconstitutional. We didn't get 
a lot of help on the Republican side, the gentleman did, I agree with 
that, the gentleman who has spoken before me.
  Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to 
join me and others in supporting Representative Allred's resolution in 
expressing bipartisan opposition to the

[[Page H2960]]

Trump administration's efforts--not to Trump, but to the policies. We 
ought to be talking about policies, not personalities. It is not about 
personalities. It is about policies and do we believe that we ought to 
repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement?
  I think the answer to that ought to be an emphatic ``no'' for all of 
us. The gentleman is correct. We ought to work on a bipartisan basis to 
accomplish good objectives for our people. This vote will show every 
single American where his or her Representative stands on the question 
which is so consequential to the everyday lives of millions and 
millions of Americans.
  The President clearly has no intention--he said in his tweet today--
of sending a bill down here until 2021, 2 years and more from now. How 
sad to be the leader of our country and say: I am not going to tell you 
what I am going to do, just trust me.

  Well, Mr. President, we don't have any reason based upon your 
performance to trust you to make sure that Americans have what you said 
you were going to give them, that everybody was going to be covered at 
lower cost or higher quality.
  Vote for this resolution and tell the American people that when you 
said on the campaign trail: I am for preexisting conditions, you meant 
it; and when you said that there were other protections that you wanted 
to keep in the bill, you meant it.
  If you do, then you will vote for this resolution and send a 
message--democracy is a lot about messages--by talking to one another. 
This is the way the Congress can talk to the administration--one way. 
We can talk a lot of ways.
  Have that communication be clear: Mr. President, leave the Affordable 
Care Act alone and work with us to make it better and work for all 
Americans, which is what you said you would do during the course of the 
campaign.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to address their 
remarks to the Chair.
  Mr. WALDEN. Madam Speaker, may I inquire as to how much time each 
side has remaining.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Oregon has 20\1/2\ 
minutes remaining. The gentleman from New Jersey has 26\1/2\ minutes.
  Mr. WALDEN. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume 
to make a couple of comments.
  First of all, the President is very good to work with, and we worked 
in a bipartisan manner last Congress to address the Nation's opioid 
epidemic. That is a healthcare issue and a life-and-death issue. We 
passed 60 bipartisan bills that became law, and President Trump signed 
them.
  We extended health insurance for children in America--the CHIP 
program, the Children's Health Insurance Program--for 10 years. That is 
twice as long as ever had been done before. We did that on the Energy 
and Commerce Committee, and the President signed that. In my State, 
that is 122,700 Oregon kids and pregnant moms who are covered for 
certainty for 10 years under that insurance program. We reauthorized 
and fully funded community health centers. Now 240,000 Oregonians in 63 
sites in my district get their healthcare from community health 
centers, Madam Speaker, and we did that at a fully funded record level.
  Now, I just want to address something my friend, the majority leader 
who schedules bills on the floor, said about how we voted to repeal 
ObamaCare 65 times. What he kind of failed to mention is Democrats 
voted for not quite half of those, I would wager, because 25 of those 
votes became law, signed in large part, if not totally, by one Barack 
Obama, because there were problems in the Affordable Care Act or 
ObamaCare, however you want to describe it, that this Congress 
interceded on and in a bipartisan way voted to repeal ``ObamaCare.'' 
That is what the leader said, the 65 were all to repeal.
  I would argue he probably voted for a bunch of those, because some of 
them passed unanimously in the House and Senate. Even President Obama 
agreed there were mistakes in ObamaCare. Our argument is we can fix 
America's healthcare laws going forward, and we should.
  Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Montana (Mr. 
Gianforte), who is a terrific new Member of Congress and of the Energy 
and Commerce Committee.
  Mr. GIANFORTE. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for the time.
  Madam Speaker, I hear from hardworking Montanans in my office and 
throughout the State that they are worried about the rising cost of 
healthcare. Rising premiums and increasing deductibles force Montana 
families to spend more and more on healthcare and less and less on 
clothes, books, and food for the table.
  Since my first day in office, I have made lowering healthcare costs, 
promoting rural access to care, and protecting those with preexisting 
conditions my primary priorities.
  Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act has been anything but 
affordable. In the first 3 years of ObamaCare, premiums in Montana rose 
by 66 percent, and they are still rising today. ObamaCare robbed 
consumers of choice and gave hardworking Montanans plans they can't 
afford.
  As we work toward solutions that make healthcare more accessible and 
affordable, I will keep fighting to protect those with preexisting 
conditions. I cosponsored the Pre-Existing Conditions Protection Act 
that ensures patients with preexisting conditions have access to health 
insurance. I also voted to ensure those same protections. We need to 
ensure that those with preexisting conditions have coverage.
  House Democrats have said they are for protecting those with 
preexisting conditions. Unfortunately, Madam Speaker, it seems they are 
only interested in defending them if the solution includes preserving 
ObamaCare or pursuing a government-run, single-payer healthcare plan.
  One of the earliest votes we took in this Congress was to lock in 
protections for Americans with preexisting conditions. It was a simple 
and straightforward measure that I enthusiastically voted for. It would 
protect Americans with preexisting conditions period--so simple and 
straightforward. We should revisit that approach.
  Unfortunately, Madam Speaker, my friends across the aisle voted down 
that measure, because it appears the majority values trying to score 
political points more than providing certainty and peace of mind to 
Americans with preexisting conditions.
  I hope they will come to the table in good faith and choose to work 
with us to find a bipartisan solution to bring down healthcare costs 
and protect people with preexisting conditions.
  Mr. WALDEN. Madam Speaker, I continue to yield myself such time as I 
may consume to say that I appreciate the gentleman's comments and share 
them.
  This is H.R. 692, legislation that would guarantee Americans with 
preexisting conditions are not discriminated against. We have a lot of 
cosponsors on this, but we don't have a single Democrat willing to 
cosponsor a bill that would provide protection to Americans should this 
judge's decision be upheld. That is my argument today.

  Why wouldn't we go ahead and schedule this, pass this, and move this 
to the floor so that if by some means this judge's decision is upheld, 
Americans with a preexisting condition would have coverage?
  Meanwhile, why don't we start hearings on the Medicare for All 
proposal that Democrats have championed?
  I have asked for those hearings from my friend. We have not seen that 
happen, and I know there is a certain dust-up in the press even today 
about alleging the Speaker's own staff person here may have been saying 
things or not about whether this is a good idea or not.
  We ought to have a hearing on that because close to 200 million 
Americans might lose their insurance under this plan. So there is lots 
we should be doing here.
  Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Pelosi), who is the Speaker of the House and who was so 
much the force behind making the Affordable Care Act reality.
  Ms. PELOSI. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding and 
thank him for the leadership role he played in making America healthier 
in the original passage of the Affordable Care Act and protecting it 
from the constant sabotage that the Republicans in the Congress and in 
the White

[[Page H2961]]

House have exacted on the Affordable Care Act.
  I want to pay special tribute to the outside groups, the patient 
advocacy groups, the Little Lobbyists, the children, so many people who 
spoke and told their stories at 10,000 events across the country to 
oppose the Republicans' constant assault on the Affordable Care Act for 
the first 2 years of the Trump administration, a time when the 
President had the White House, the House, and the Senate and could very 
well have passed legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act, as 
they said they would do.

                              {time}  1430

  They didn't replace it because they don't believe in a government 
role. Much about the Affordable Care Act has to do with Medicare and 
how we prolonged the life of Medicare and adjusted funding so that we 
could reduce the cost of prescription drugs for our seniors.
  The Republican approach to Medicare is that it should wither on the 
vine, that there is no place in a free society, in a free economy, for 
Medicare.
  Let's understand this. This is not just about the issue or the 
legislation of the Affordable Care Act. This is about a value system in 
our country, about understanding that healthcare is a right for all 
Americans, not just a privilege.
  Yes, they could get preexisting conditions coverage--with rates that 
go right through the ceiling and are a gift to the insurance industry, 
but not to make care affordable and accessible to all.
  So, here we are, in an unusual situation where the Affordable Care 
Act is the law of the land, and it is the responsibility of the Justice 
Department and the administration to defend the law of the land in 
court, and what are they doing? Just the opposite. Why? Because they 
don't believe in governance.
  That is why they are happy to shut down government for any reason. 
They don't believe in governance. They don't believe in a public role 
in the well-being of the American people. They don't believe in the 
Affordable Care Act.
  What they are trying to do is strike down every last provision of the 
ACA: protection for preexisting conditions, which I will come back to; 
bans of lifetime and annual limits; the Medicaid expansion; Medicare 
solvency going out for many more years; savings for seniors on 
prescription drug costs; and the vital premium assistance that makes 
healthcare coverage affordable for millions of families. It all would 
be ended if the President and the Republicans in Congress get their 
way. I hope it is not all Republicans in Congress, because I hope that 
some of them will care enough about their constituents and meeting 
their needs.
  On the subject of preexisting conditions, how many times during 
campaigns did they say, ``Oh, we are for preexisting conditions,'' 
having voted it down over and over and over again?
  The misrepresentations were almost embarrassing. Let's look the other 
way, so we don't embarrass them any further. It is almost a joke, but 
it is not funny if you have a preexisting condition.
  What was interesting about the Affordable Care Act is it wasn't just 
about expanding coverage to 20 million more people. That, in itself, 
would be a justification. It was about the more than 150 million 
families who had better coverage, on a trajectory of lower cost, better 
benefits, no preexisting condition barrier, no lifetime limits, no 
annual limits, and the rest. And if your child is up to 26 years old, 
your child could be on your policy.
  Actually, the issue of subsidizing those so that everyone could 
participate and it would be affordable, can we do more there? We 
certainly can, and we certainly will.
  I want to tell this story. As I said, the outside groups were so 
instrumental in saving us from the Republican sabotage of the 
Affordable Care Act and of the good health of the American people. The 
outside groups held, as I said, 10,000 events around the country, 
telling stories. Nothing conveys more information and more 
understanding than people telling their own stories.
  The statistics are interesting. They are staggering. But the stories 
are powerful, and they make a difference.
  I am going to tell the story that I have told before. It is about 
America's families paying the price and America's children paying the 
price for this Republican sabotage of the Affordable Care Act.
  The story I would like to tell is about Zoe Madison Lihn. Zoe was 
born with a congenital heart defect in May 2010. She faced the first of 
her three heart surgeries at just 15 hours old.
  By 6 months old, Zoe was halfway through the lifetime limit that her 
insurer had placed on her case. She faced a grim future, not just using 
up her lifetime limit by preschool--her lifetime limit was used up, but 
her preexisting condition had not gone away--but carrying the 
preexisting condition that would require attention and care for the 
rest of her life.
  Under the ACA, Zoe is protected. She will celebrate her 9th birthday 
next month.
  But the Republicans want to take all that away, not only from Zoe but 
from their own constituents.
  Our Democratic House majority will not let that stand. Dr. Martin 
Luther King, Jr., said: ``Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in 
healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane because it often results 
in physical death.''
  Our colleagues are used to our colleague, Whip Clyburn, telling that 
story, which I think he heard Dr. King say.
  On day one of this Congress, freshman Member from Texas Congressman 
Colin Allred led the way. House Democrats voted to throw the full legal 
weight of the House against the Texas lawsuit to destroy the ACA.
  We salute Congressman Allred for his outstanding leadership to 
protect America's families' health and to reach out to the Republicans 
to join him in doing so. But more than 190 Republicans voted to be 
fully complicit in that attempt to overthrow the ACA and tear away 
those health protections.
  Now, with this resolution led again by Congressman Allred, we call on 
our Republican colleagues to go on the record once more. Either they 
will vote for protecting their constituents' healthcare, or they will 
vote for taking it away. With this vote, we will see their values and 
their intentions.
  House Democrats will always fight to protect families' affordable and 
quality healthcare. We don't see it as an issue or legislation. We see 
it as a value--a value. It is not just about healthcare. It is about 
the good health of America, a source of our strength.

  After we pass this resolution, we will continue to advance our 
transformative legislation to reverse the GOP healthcare sabotage. We 
will lower healthcare costs and strengthen protections for people with 
preexisting medical conditions.
  By the way, under the Affordable Care Act, being a woman is no longer 
a preexisting medical condition. As a mother of five, I can attest to 
that being a preexisting condition.
  Democrats are for the people: lowering healthcare costs by reducing 
the costs of prescription drugs, preserving the preexisting condition 
benefit, increasing wages by building the infrastructure in a green 
way, and cleaning up government. Lower healthcare costs, bigger 
paychecks, cleaner government.
  Once we can reduce the role of dark, special-interest money in 
Washington, D.C., people will have confidence that it is possible that 
their voices will be heard more strongly than the voices of those who 
stand in the way of progress.
  Three months ago from tomorrow, the Members of this institution, 
Democrats and Republicans, took a solemn oath to protect and defend the 
Constitution of the United States. The Constitution of the United 
States, after the beautiful preamble of our Nation's purpose, is 
Article I, the legislative branch. The legislative branch's 
responsibilities are spelled out in the text of the Constitution.
  This body, the first branch of government, voted to protect the 
health and well-being of the American people. It is the law of the 
land. It is the responsibility of the executive branch to protect the 
law of the land.
  They have departed from that and, therefore, departed from our oath 
to the Constitution to protect and defend.
  If they have a better idea, we haven't seen it. On top of that, the 
President has said we won't see it until 2021, after the 2020 
elections.

[[Page H2962]]

  That is just not good enough, Mr. President. The needs of the 
American people will not stop right now because you have stopped 
believing in them. The needs of the American people go on, and we will 
continue this fight. We will fight in the Congress; we will fight in 
the courts; and we will fight in the court of public opinion.
  I hope that we can have some Republican support from the other side 
of the aisle to vote to protect America's families and their healthcare 
and, therefore, strengthen America.
  Madam Speaker, I urge an ``aye'' vote.
  Mr. WALDEN. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Madam Speaker, I hope, before the Speaker of the House leaves, she 
will listen to this.
  I was moved by her story about a young child with a congenital heart 
defect, but nobody is going to lecture me about the need to protect 
people with preexisting conditions or the need to repeal the lifetime 
caps.
  Let me tell you a story about a young man with a heart defect. 
February 7, 1994, he was born in Portland, Oregon, at Oregon Health 
Sciences University, with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. It would 
require immediate surgery and multiple surgeries to try to save his 
life, or a complete heart transplant.
  Tragically, that little boy did not live long enough to be flown to 
Loma Linda Hospital in California for that heart transplant.
  His name: Garrison Daniel Walden. He died the next day.
  Madam Speaker, nobody is going to tell me about the need to protect 
people with preexisting conditions. Nobody is going to lecture me about 
the need to get rid of caps on lifetime. My wife and I dealt with those 
issues directly, and I will always stand up for people who face similar 
challenges.
  That is not what this is about today, and you can laugh if you want.
  Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from California (Mr. 
McCarthy).
  Mr. McCARTHY. Madam Speaker, I thank Congressman Walden for his 
sobering words, for his actions. He has a bill that will protect 
preexisting conditions. The difference about that to today: It is 
actually a bill; this is a resolution.
  I always thought, when you ran for Congress, you would want to do 
more than a press release. Apparently, it is different with the new 
election, Madam Speaker.
  ``Show me your budget, show me your values.'' It has been said so 
many times on this floor. Those were the words that have been recited 
by Speaker Pelosi quite frequently. You could have a whole ring of 
videos of her just saying those exact words.
  But, of course, that was before the newly minted Democratic majority 
quickly decided they won't be introducing a budget.
  Madam Speaker, I wonder if America will question the values. It 
appears they won't be sharing their values with the American people. 
But if we had questions as to what those values were, this week removes 
all doubt.
  Madam Speaker, we are celebrating 40 years of C-SPAN, but I wonder if 
those who are watching today understand what is happening. You see, on 
this floor, they learned early on, even from a childhood of 
``Schoolhouse Rock,'' I'm just a bill on Capitol Hill.
  This is not a bill we are talking about. This isn't even a resolution 
that goes to the Senate. This will never end up with the President. 
This will do nothing for your healthcare. What will it do? It will make 
a great press release.
  The difference, Madam Speaker, in one election is what happens on 
this floor. The difference is: Do you really want to protect people 
with preexisting conditions? Because, Madam Speaker, there is an 
individual who has a bill that is filed, that has cosponsorship, that 
is sitting in committee, that the Democrats control. They didn't mark 
it up. They didn't talk about it. They wrote a resolution.
  To those who are watching on C-SPAN, I know what they have watched on 
this floor before. I know what they watched in the last Congress, that 
we sat and talked about not a resolution for children's health, for the 
CHIP program, but we wrote a bill. We extended it longer than anyone 
has ever dreamed possible, a full decade.
  Yes, Madam Speaker, we had to do it with one side of the aisle, 
because the majority on the other side of the aisle didn't even write a 
press release supporting it. They voted ``no.''
  To those who are watching on C-SPAN and questioning what has gone on 
in this House, yes, they watched it the last Congress. When we had an 
opioid epidemic, we wrote a bill. We didn't write a press release, and 
we didn't write a resolution.

                              {time}  1445

  Or when the National Institutes of Health, where you could really 
care about an individual with healthcare and solve a problem, we didn't 
write a resolution about giving them more money. We actually voted for 
it. We actually moved it through committee, and we had a bill and we 
funded $3 billion more.
  To those who are watching on C-SPAN, don't change the channel. Don't 
wonder about the words that were used before, ``show me your budget,'' 
``show me your values''; there is no budget, and you are probably going 
to question their values.
  Show me the bill and show me your values. I guess that is the new 
line we should ask, because what does a resolution do?
  Maybe we can all get together and go to the Rayburn Room today and 
have a press release. What? Let's go further. Let's have a press 
conference. Let's get really serious about a problem, and let's write a 
resolution for the floor, because that problem will still exist.
  A lot of people put a lot of effort into running for office. A lot of 
people make a lot of promises, and Americans expect legislation to 
solve them, not a resolution.
  You know what is most ironic today? If they wanted to solve the 
problem, there are options there.
  If we are worried about a lawsuit, if we are worried about 
preexisting conditions, go to Congressman Walden's bill. Let's bring 
that to the floor. It is not a resolution. We will have to vote for 
something different. We will have to actually vote for a bill.
  It is interesting that, on the other side of the aisle, Madam 
Speaker, I heard people were concerned the Republicans were concerned 
about what ObamaCare has done, that premiums have risen, that the 
promise we were given that, if you liked your healthcare, you could 
keep it. For millions of Americans, that proved to be a lie and false.
  We are not the only ones who believe that has been a failure. If that 
were not true, why do half the Members on the other side of the aisle 
cosponsor a bill that says Medicare for All? They must believe it is 
not working either.
  Or maybe they want to take more healthcare from individuals. I am not 
quite sure. The way I look at Medicare for All, it has got a great 
name. Anybody who is 65, they should get Medicare, and I will stand 
with them. But they shouldn't take away 158 million Americans' private 
health insurance, because that is exactly what they do.
  Why don't they make another promise to the American public and deny 
them their healthcare?
  Or why don't they even go further? For everyone who is on Medicare 
Advantage, that goes away as well. Or for everyone who is on Medicare 
itself, you are going to bankrupt it.
  You have got that in legislation. That is not a press release. Why 
don't we bring that to the floor or committee? Why don't we debate 
that?
  And, Madam Speaker, when I sat on this floor and I heard the words 
used from the other side of the aisle, from the leader of that side of 
the aisle to say Republicans don't care about Medicare, that was a lie. 
Medicare part D; you know, when you talk to seniors, you know what they 
are most concerned about? The price of prescription drugs.
  Or for those C-SPAN viewers who have more than 40 years to watch it, 
Republicans were in the majority. Do you know what they did? They 
didn't bring a press release down with a resolution. They brought a 
bill. They created Medicare part D to lower prescription drug prices. 
It has been one of the most effective programs around.
  And do you know what we had to do? We had to do it alone because we 
passed legislation. We didn't pass a press release.

[[Page H2963]]

  Madam Speaker, shame, shame on an individual who would lie to the 
American public about their own healthcare, lie about another side, 
but, more importantly, say they care about Americans' health and bring 
a resolution.
  I want to see everybody go home this weekend, go back to their 
constituents and tell them what they did about preexisting conditions. 
They passed a resolution when they could have passed a bill.
  I happen to be the leader of the Republicans, and I stand here in 
this well, in this body, and tell you we support preexisting 
conditions. I tell you to bring his bill up, Congressman Walden's, and 
we will support this bill on this floor.
  We won't support shams. We won't support press releases, because we 
care about Americans' health. And we will not support kicking 158 
million off their healthcare.
  I know half the body on the other side has cosponsored that. That is 
even further than I have seen before. They want to end Medicare 
Advantage.
  When are they going to say that to the seniors? And that is not a 
press release. That is something they are really going after.
  If they are serious about their words, if they believe they care and 
are concerned about a court case because maybe they wrote a bill that 
isn't constitutional, they could have solved it today.
  You know what we could be talking about today? They own the majority. 
They control the floor.
  What is most interesting, the majority of bills that they brought to 
the floor in this new majority--they have brought more bills and 
resolutions to the floor than even passed the committee, but they sat 
here and told us it is for the people.
  They are about to have 100 days, but it is 100 days of 
disappointment. I have never thought a majority would want to claim how 
many press conferences or how many resolutions they could pass on the 
floor, but they are setting a record. They are setting a record while 
they are failing the American public.
  Do you know what they could be doing right now? If they really cared 
about fixing our healthcare system and protecting Americans with 
preexisting conditions, they could do one of the three things in the 
face of this lawsuit. And let's not lie to the American public. They 
could repeal the individual mandate. Boom, the lawsuit is gone.

  They could reimpose the penalty. They voted for it before, so why 
don't they vote for it again?
  Or they could put a bill on the floor that explicitly protects 
preexisting conditions. The difference is that is a bill, not a 
resolution.
  Maybe if they had a lot of power, maybe if they really felt strongly 
about this, make a resolution that even goes to the Senate so the 
Senate can talk about it, too.
  Or if they really care, make a bill. Write a bill. Don't write a 
press release. Don't lie to the American public. They are smarter than 
this.
  You know, the words I have heard today, the line that will sit up to 
speak, not one of them will use the term of a bill; not one of them can 
look the American public in the eye and say they are protecting 
preexisting conditions. But what they can say, Madam Speaker, is they 
are denying a bill that would protect preexisting conditions to come to 
the floor because the Republicans offered it.
  This is an honorable floor. This is a floor that makes history. This 
is a floor that has changed and shown the values of America to lead the 
world, but it has not done that by doing resolutions. It is a shame 
that we are trying to put a resolution on the floor.
  Is this why you ran? Is this why you craved to become the majority?
  I didn't hear any of my constituents say, ``I want you to go 
there''--because I heard this language. I heard this language on the 
other side, Madam Speaker, just from the last speaker: We will fight in 
court. We will fight on the floor. We will fight in the public's 
opinion.
  Do you know what fighting means if you want to succeed? Put a bill. I 
didn't know fighting was writing a press release. Don't take America's 
time and don't waste it, because that is exactly what they are doing.
  Do you want to tell stories? Go tell the stories to the individuals 
who are concerned about this. Go tell those individuals you did nothing 
to solve it. Go tell those individuals you denied a bill to come to the 
floor that could solve the problem.
  Be honest, but stop wasting our time. And if you don't want to lead, 
get out of the way, because we will definitely solve it.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
North Carolina (Mr. Butterfield), who is the vice chair of our Health 
Subcommittee.
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. Madam Speaker, I rise to support H. Res. 271. This 
resolution, I would say to the minority leader, is a statement. It is a 
statement by Democrats of our position on the Affordable Care Act.
  It is not surprising to me that they would not want the facts to be 
before the American people. That is what this resolution is about.
  On day one of his administration, President Obama announced he would 
address the critical need for affordable healthcare for millions of 
uninsured Americans.
  He reminded us that nearly 50 million Americans were uninsured. Low-
income, childless adults could not benefit from Medicaid.
  Millions of seniors were not fully benefiting from prescription drug 
benefits under Medicare part D because of the doughnut hole.
  He told us that parents needed insurance on their children to age 26.
  And finally, Madam Speaker, President Obama stressed that insurance 
companies were increasing premiums and not providing quality coverage, 
and they were discriminating based on preexisting conditions, high 
copays, and higher deductibles.
  After much debate, we passed ObamaCare. It has made a difference in 
health accessibility and health outcomes. It is not a perfect solution, 
but it has impacted millions of lives.
  We want to make ObamaCare better; we want to make it more affordable. 
I would say to my friend from Oregon, with bipartisan cooperation, we 
can do that, and we can do it effectively.
  But Republicans have repeatedly tried to legislate ObamaCare out of 
existence with no replacement. This Congress has repeatedly said ``no'' 
to any repeal.
  On February 26 of last year, Republican plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in 
the Northern District of Texas contending that the minimum essential 
coverage provision is unconstitutional, and, since Republicans removed 
the mandate penalty, the entire law is unconstitutional. That was their 
claim.
  Three months later, Attorney General Sessions announced that the 
Trump administration wouldn't defend the minimum essential coverage 
claim and that the Trump administration would argue that preexisting 
conditions protections should be invalidated. However, the Trump 
administration said that the remaining parts of the law could be 
severed or separated and the law could remain intact.

  The Court heard the case and, as we all know, the Affordable Care Act 
was declared to be unconstitutional. It is now on appeal.
  On March 28 of this year, President Trump changed his position. On 
appeal, he is now aligning with the Republican plaintiffs and thumbing 
his nose, Madam Speaker, thumbing his nose again at this Congress.
  The Affordable Care Act, as the Speaker said a few moments ago, is 
the law of the land, and Republicans are refusing to defend it.
  Protection of preexisting conditions is the law of the land, Mr. 
President.
  The final insult came this morning when President Trump confirmed 
that he will ask the higher courts to throw out the entire law and that 
he will have a replacement ready the day after the election. I am 
outraged, and so should the American people be.
  Mr. WALDEN. Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
South Carolina (Mr. Rice) from the Ways and Means Committee.
  Mr. RICE of South Carolina. Madam Speaker, we stand here today with 
another in a series of weekly messaging bills. I wonder what, next 
week, we will deal with. I am sure it will be another whipsaw response 
to the headlines of the day.
  If you truly want to protect people with preexisting conditions, as 
Republicans do, bring forth Mr. Walden's

[[Page H2964]]

bill. It has teeth. In the event that this lawsuit is upheld and the 
Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional, it will protect people with 
preexisting conditions.
  The Speaker, Ms. Pelosi, a minute ago said that the Republicans' 
position on healthcare was a joke. Well, I will tell you what is a 
joke, and that is to call the Affordable Care Act successful.
  The promises on which the Affordable Care Act were based were that we 
would cover all Americans; that the premiums would go down; that if you 
like your doctor, you could keep your doctor; and that if you like your 
insurance policy, you could keep it.
  Clearly, almost every existing insurance policy was declared invalid. 
You could only keep your doctor if he is in your plan and your 
hospital. Premiums have gone from an average of $225 in 2013, just 
before the Affordable Care Act was enacted, to $475, average cost for 
an individual policy today, almost a 250 percent increase.
  What did we get for that?
  Before the Affordable Care Act, 85 percent of Americans were covered. 
Before the Affordable Care Act, 85 percent of Americans were covered. 
At the peak, after the Affordable Care Act, last year, 91 percent of 
the Americans were covered. We covered 6 percent more people, mostly 
because we gave them insurance policies with the Medicare expansion. We 
covered 6 percent more people.
  But what was the cost of that? The 85 percent that were already 
covered had to pay 250 percent more for their health insurance. That is 
completely absurd.
  And don't lecture me about people with preexisting conditions. I have 
a son who had a congenital heart defect. I had a son who, as a 7-month-
old child, was in a car wreck and had a brain injury, both preexisting 
conditions.

                              {time}  1500

  Throughout their life, they were covered. For a brief period of time, 
South Carolina, like almost every other State in the country, had 
protections for preexisting conditions before the Affordable Care Act. 
Under the health insurance pool in South Carolina, they had to pay 30 
percent more.
  It irritated me as a father that my children had to pay 30 percent 
more for their health insurance, but guess what? Under the Affordable 
Care Act, instead of having to pay 30 percent more, they have to pay 
250 percent more and their deductibles have tripled.
  You call that a success? In what world is that a success?
  Republicans want to protect people with preexisting conditions. We 
have voted repeatedly to do it. We have bills out there that will do 
it.
  Stop with the messaging, stop with the lies, and let's move forward 
and do something that actually works. Let's move forward and protect 
people with preexisting conditions in the event that this law is 
declared unconstitutional.
  Mr. WALDEN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from South Carolina 
for his comments.
  Mr. Speaker, I would just point out Gallup just announced in a 
survey, 65 million Americans, 20 percent, put off treatment this last 
year and borrowed $88 billion to cover their healthcare costs. So we 
know there are problems out there we need to address.
  Mr. Speaker, could I inquire as to how much time each side has 
remaining?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Carbajal). The gentleman from Oregon has 
9\1/2\ minutes remaining. The gentleman from New Jersey has 22\1/2\ 
minutes remaining.
  Mr. WALDEN. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Illinois (Ms. Schakowsky), the chair of our Consumer Protection & 
Commerce Subcommittee.
  Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Mr. Speaker, clearly, we have hit a nerve with the 
Republicans on the Affordable Care Act, which they opposed before it 
began, have been opposing it for 9 years, promising to come up with 
some sort of a repeal and replace, never being able to do it, and now 
standing up here and saying life was better before the Affordable Care 
Act. Amazing.
  People with preexisting conditions love the Affordable Care Act.
  Why are we here in the majority today? Because the American people 
came to understand that before the Affordable Care Act, children born 
with preexisting conditions from the day of birth were not able to be 
covered by healthcare, that there were limits in how much insurance 
companies would pay per year or per lifetime caps, and making families 
live in fear of disaster and financial chaos.
  So, Mr. Speaker, I rise today to condemn the Trump administration and 
their decision to support the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, not in 
the Congress, but now in the courts.
  They couldn't defeat it here. They tried when they had the majority 
in both Houses and could not repeal it.
  When I came here, being a woman was essentially a preexisting 
condition. Women paid more for healthcare, sometimes 40 percent more, 
just because we are women. Pregnancy was very rarely covered by 
insurance, and now women are covered for those things like preventive 
services, mammograms, pregnancy.
  The Affordable Care Act has let people 26 years old stay on their 
parents' policies.
  No wonder the American people have completely turned around and 
understood the sham that the Republicans were offering and support the 
Affordable Care Act.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WALDEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Austin Scott).
  Mr. AUSTIN SCOTT of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my 
colleague from Oregon for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I have listened to this debate as it has gone on, and 
the bottom line is, if you listen to the Democrats, you would think 
that they had stuck it to the insurance industry with all of the rules 
and all of the laws that they passed.
  As we talk about values, I thought I would give you a few values.
  Aetna in 2010 was trading at $27.39 a share. In 2018, it was $187 a 
share.
  You know who you stuck it to? You stuck it to the American citizens. 
You took the money out of our pockets and you put it into the hands of 
the insurance industry.
  If you don't want to talk about Aetna, let's talk about United 
Healthcare: $29 a share in 2010; in 2018, $246.54 a share. How did that 
happen?
  If the American citizens were getting a square deal before the 
legislation that you passed, that you could only pass if the insurance 
industry didn't object, how did United's stock go from $29 a share to 
$246 a share?
  If that's not enough, how about Humana: $29 a share in 2010 to $246 a 
share in 2018. How did this happen?
  This happened because you left the insurance industry exempt from the 
antitrust laws of the country.
  Now, how did that work out for the American citizen? We got a mandate 
by the Democratic Party to purchase a product from an industry that is 
exempt from the antitrust laws of the country.
  Now, there are flaws in the legislation that you passed. I am amazed 
at your refusal to accept that.
  You can't even buy an Affordable Care Act contract today. Do you 
realize the next time you can buy it is January 1 of next year?
  If you are uninsured right now--you all have been telling the 
American public, if you are uninsured and you go to the doctor and the 
doctor says you have got cancer, you can get a contract the next day. 
It is just not true. You can't get it until January 1 of 2020.
  It is a poorly worded piece of legislation. Regardless of the intent, 
it is a poorly worded piece of legislation that moved money from the 
individual citizens of this country to the pockets of the insurance 
industry, and it needs to be rewritten.

  Mr. WALDEN. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from Rhode Island (Mr. Cicilline).
  Mr. CICILLINE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to acknowledge the leadership of Congressman 
Colin Allred, who has been an incredible advocate for his community in 
Dallas and for millions of Americans whose healthcare President Trump 
and our Republican colleagues are trying to take away.
  President Trump has claimed over and over again that he wants to 
protect

[[Page H2965]]

access to healthcare, and he has even announced recently that he has a 
secret plan that he will make available to the American people after 
the 2020 election.
  But as is true with any con man and charlatan, when you dig a little 
past the surface of the President's words, the facts tell a much 
different story.
  Last week, the President's Justice Department asked a court to 
eliminate every single protection and benefit that the Affordable Care 
Act has provided.
  Democrats won the majority because the American people understand 
that we are fighting to protect their healthcare. And now Republicans 
have moved away from the Congress to try to take away healthcare from 
millions and millions of Americans in the courts.
  Let's be clear about what this means. President Trump wants to repeal 
the caps on out-of-pocket costs, he wants to eliminate the prescription 
drug savings for seniors and end the Medicaid expansion.
  If he succeeds in this litigation, it will be legal for insurance 
companies to limit the amount of coverage someone can get in their 
lifetime, it will deny access to people with preexisting conditions, 
and it will allow insurance companies to sell junk plans that offer no 
real coverage for the American people.
  Democrats have a better plan, and the minority leader will be happy 
to know there are actually bills to do it. We are going to strengthen 
the protections for people with preexisting conditions, we are going to 
expand access to insurance for more working men and women, and we are 
going to bring down the costs of prescription drugs with bills like my 
legislation, the CREATES Act, to allow more generic drugs into the 
marketplace.
  Look, we take a lot of complicated votes in this Chamber. This is not 
one of them.
  This vote is very simple. A vote in favor of this resolution is a 
vote for access to quality, affordable healthcare. A vote against it is 
a vote for the interests of insurance companies at the expense of 
working people.
  I know where members of the Democratic Caucus stand. We ran on this, 
we are committed to it. We are fighting every day to protect the 
Affordable Care Act and to build on its success and to improve it.
  The Republicans' last vote was TrumpCare, which took away health 
coverage from 23 million Americans, and that is why they were rejected 
in the midterms.
  People want Members of Congress to stand up and fight to protect 
their access to quality, affordable healthcare, to protect their access 
to coverage for preexisting conditions, to drive down the costs of 
prescription drugs, and to end these junk plans that, in fact, don't 
provide coverage to the American people.
  This resolution is a strong statement of our position on this.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my Republican colleagues, don't be afraid of the 
resolution, don't be afraid that it is going to expose that you 
actually don't support efforts to protect access to healthcare, because 
you have an easy solution to that problem: vote for it. Show the 
American people you care about the quality of their healthcare, you 
want to expand access, strengthen the Affordable Care Act, and support 
this excellent resolution.
  Mr. WALDEN. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Johnson).
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, President Trump's Department of 
Justice letter seeking the invalidation of the entire Affordable Care 
Act by the Fifth Circuit is nothing short of self-sabotage.
  The Trump position in Texas v. United States would deny coverage for 
those with preexisting conditions, dismantle protections on out-of-
pocket costs and the ban on annual and lifetime caps, and the return of 
the notorious donut hole for seniors on expensive medications would 
come forward again.
  I support this resolution. It is important that we band together to 
protect the Affordable Care Act and its protections against junk 
insurance policies.
  The American people deserve to know whether their Representative is 
going to fight for them and vote to condemn the DOJ's actions or if 
they will simply fall in line behind this President on his thoughtless 
and heartless mission to destroy access to the healthcare system for 
millions of Americans.
  Mr. WALDEN. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Virginia (Ms. Wexton).
  Ms. WEXTON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H. Res. 271, a resolution 
condemning the Trump administration's legal campaign to take away 
America's healthcare.
  Here is what healthcare means: it is the freedom and security to live 
your life the way you choose. It can be the difference between 
financial security and bankruptcy, or life and death.
  Donald Trump and congressional Republicans want to use the courts to 
take health insurance away from 21 million Americans. They want to 
eliminate protections for the more than 133 million Americans with 
preexisting conditions.
  Now, the Affordable Care Act is not perfect, but never in American 
history has the uninsured rate been lower than it is today.

  But rather than be honest about what is working, rather than coming 
to the table to work across the aisle and fix what is wrong, 
Republicans are fighting tooth and nail to overturn the ACA, with no 
plan except one that was so bad, they couldn't pass it when they 
controlled both houses of Congress.
  Meanwhile, the Democratic majority is proposing real solutions and 
smart healthcare policies that will lower costs and expand coverage.
  The contrast couldn't be more clear.
  Democrats want quality, affordable health coverage for every 
American, and Republicans don't.
  Mr. Speaker, I encourage my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on this 
resolution.
  Mr. WALDEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Carter), our resident pharmacist on the Energy and 
Commerce Committee.
  Mr. CARTER of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, the Affordable Care Act is not working for too many 
Americans.
  I welcome all efforts to lower costs, to increase choice, and to 
protect those with preexisting conditions.
  Remember, the very first thing, the very first floor vote we pushed 
as Republicans this Congress was to solidify protections for those with 
preexisting conditions. It was the first thing we did. We did it right 
out of the gate.
  While Republicans have stood ready to work on lowering costs and 
increasing choices, so far the Democrats, the Democratic majority, have 
only tried to double down on the ACA.
  On the Energy and Commerce Committee, the only solution we have seen 
from Democrats are partisan bills that throw billions of unpaid-for 
dollars at a broken system, at a failed experiment.
  If my Democratic colleagues were serious about helping patients, they 
would work with us on reforms to lower costs and increase choices.

                              {time}  1515

  The fact is we could vote on independent legislation that protects 
patients with preexisting conditions. The fact is, if my Democratic 
colleagues were serious about their concerns over this lawsuit, they 
could, legislatively, end this lawsuit once and for all. We could vote 
to repeal the individual mandate. That would immediately invalidate the 
lawsuit. They could vote to reinstate the individual mandate penalty. 
That would also stop the lawsuit in its tracks.
  But, instead, we are here to vote on a resolution about politics, not 
solutions. It is clear that Democrats would much rather score political 
points than to protect the ACA.
  They would have surprised me 2 years ago, but now the Democratic 
Party seems to have already moved on from the Affordable Care Act. 
Instead of truly working on improvements to the ACA, Democrats are 
focused on their $32 trillion plan to kick 152 million people off their 
insurance for their one-size-fits-all government-run healthcare plan.

[[Page H2966]]

  Mr. Speaker, I encourage my Democratic friends to stop the politics 
and to work with us to protect those with preexisting conditions, to 
lower healthcare costs, and to increase choices for patients.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, may I inquire about the amount of time that 
remains on each side.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from New Jersey has 14\1/2\ 
minutes remaining. The gentleman from Oregon has 5\1/2\ minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Pennsylvania (Ms. Scanlon).
  Ms. SCANLON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to condemn this 
administration's latest attempt to do away with the healthcare provided 
by the Affordable Care Act.
  The Department of Justice's decision to go after the healthcare of 
millions of Americans by seeking a ruling that the Affordable Care Act 
is unconstitutional underscores their belief that healthcare should be 
a luxury reserved for the privileged few, only now we have moved from 
repeal and replace to just flat-out repeal. I could not disagree more 
strongly.
  In my home State of Pennsylvania, the ability to get health insurance 
regardless of chronic illness has saved countless lives. Tens of 
thousands of my constituents have gotten healthcare for the first time 
under the Affordable Care Act. Those with preexisting conditions have 
received peace of mind, and many, myself included, have been able to 
keep their children on their health plans even as they become adults 
themselves.
  The administration's callous decision to continue undermining the 
Affordable Care Act endangers my constituents, just as it endangers the 
lives of Americans in every district of our country.
  We were chosen to serve in this House to protect Americans who need 
us most, and that means protecting their healthcare. Mr. Speaker, I 
urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to vote ``yes'' on this 
important resolution.
  Mr. WALDEN. Mr. Speaker, it is my great honor and privilege to yield 
2 minutes to the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Scalise), the Republican 
whip of the House, and an incredibly important member of our committee.
  Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding and for 
his leadership on healthcare.
  First of all, Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this resolution, 
which has nothing to do with actually helping improve healthcare, the 
costs, especially, that so many millions of people are enduring, 
because the Affordable Care Act is anything but affordable.
  Mr. Speaker, let's keep in mind what this resolution is about. It is 
not about changing any healthcare policy. It doesn't do that. It has 
been made clear. It is attempting just to try to take cheap shots at 
the President while diverting attention away from what this lawsuit 
that you see moving through the courts is really all about.
  Mr. Speaker, if the healthcare law that my friends on the other side 
of the aisle rushed through Congress and passed is held 
unconstitutional, they have nobody to blame but themselves. Let's keep 
in mind--and they want you to forget this, Mr. Speaker--and let's go 
back to those days when they rammed this bill through and the infamous 
statement: You have to pass the bill to find out what is in it.
  Nobody read that bill who voted for it. We said back then that it was 
unconstitutional.
  And, oh, by the way, not only was it that, but it has actually led to 
dramatic increases in cost for families. So someone with a preexisting 
condition--whom we want to protect, by the way, Mr. Speaker. But we 
don't just want to protect the fact that they shouldn't be able to have 
costs go up. We want to help them lower the costs for health insurance 
and lower their premiums.
  So many millions of Americans are not only facing double-digit 
increases, but people with preexisting conditions, in many cases, are 
facing a $10,000 deductible, so they have no access to healthcare, Mr. 
Speaker.
  Why don't we focus on the underlying problem?
  We on the Republican side support protecting people with preexisting 
conditions, but we also want to lower their premiums and lower their 
deductibles. The other side wants to see their costs continue to go up. 
That is the biggest difference between the two sides.
  We ought to focus on lowering premiums. Let families make those 
decisions, not unelected bureaucrats in Washington. That is what we 
ought to be focused on. This resolution falls short.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Scott), the chairman of the Education and Labor 
Committee.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, too often, we forget what our 
healthcare system was like before we passed the Affordable Care Act.
  Before the ACA, healthcare costs were skyrocketing; insurers could 
deny people coverage if they had a preexisting condition; policies did 
not have to provide essential benefits; and people were losing 
their insurance at alarming rates. Before the Affordable Care Act, 
insurers could place annual and lifetime caps on insurance coverage.

  Today, the Affordable Care Act ensures that 130 million Americans 
with preexisting conditions can have access to the healthcare peace of 
mind and financial security that comes with quality, affordable health 
coverage.
  Now, we have heard a lot about what we can do to make things better. 
We have heard about a bill that just protects those with preexisting 
conditions. The problem with that, Mr. Speaker, is, if you allow people 
to wait until they get sick before they buy insurance, they will wait 
until they get sick before they buy insurance. Those buying insurance 
are, on average, sicker, and the costs tend to go up. Fewer people can 
afford it. The healthy people drop out, and the costs go up.
  There is a name for this cycle. It is called the death spiral. Every 
time they try to protect those with preexisting conditions without the 
supports of the Affordable Care Act, there is a death spiral out of 
control.
  In Washington State, for 3 years, they tried that. In the 3 years, 
nobody could buy insurance.
  New York was in the death spiral when we passed the Affordable Care 
Act. When we passed the Affordable Care Act, the costs for individual 
insurance dropped more than 50 percent.
  So we know we just can't protect those with preexisting conditions 
without the supports and tax credits available under the Affordable 
Care Act. But we do know what a replacement plan looks like.
  The Republicans voted on such a thing. It was actually evaluated by 
the Congressional Budget Office, finding that, if the bill passed, 
about 20-some million fewer people would have insurance.
  They talk about costs. Under their plan, the costs would go up 20 
percent the first year. Insurance policies would not have to cover 
essential benefits, as they do now, and those with preexisting 
conditions would lose many of their protections.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this resolution and 
support people with preexisting conditions so that they can have access 
to the care they need to live healthy and fulfilling lives.
  Mr. WALDEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, in closing, I think we have had a very important debate 
today. I just wish that that debate had occurred on H.R. 692. This is 
the legislation that we should put in place in case the decision that 
the judge made in the Texas case that said ObamaCare was 
unconstitutional is upheld. If that is upheld, then there is going to 
be this problem, this gap that everybody is talking about.
  This is an honest attempt to make sure there is a safety net for 
people with preexisting conditions, H.R. 692. You are welcome to 
cosponsor it. I wish we would move it. I always think maybe it is the 
old Eagle Scout in me that you are always supposed to be prepared and 
ready and that you help people.
  I will tell you, Republicans also believed we should take care of 
people with preexisting conditions. Republicans also supported getting 
rid of lifetime caps on insurance policies and many of the other things 
you have heard about today, and we will continue to.
  But we also led the effort to deal with the Nation's opioid crisis, 
made it

[[Page H2967]]

bipartisan, brought it to the floor, and it became law.
  When seniors couldn't afford their medicines, it was Republicans, 
under George W. Bush, who put Medicare part D into law, and we had to 
fight Democrats to do that. Then seniors didn't have to go to Mexico or 
Canada or somewhere to get their drugs anymore. It has been highly 
successful. The costs are 40 percent or more less than what the 
Congressional Budget Office said it would be, and premiums have 
remained low. Now we need to do some modernization there.
  Republicans also passed the longest extension of children's health 
insurance in the history of the country: 10 years, fully funded. 
Democrats voted against it over and over again on this House floor less 
than a year ago.
  Community health centers, an incredibly important part of our 
network, I led the effort to get them funded at the highest levels 
ever. That funding is going to run out, but we don't have a plan from 
the Democrats yet. We are told we are not even going to have a budget 
on how to go forward. I think we can find bipartisan consensus there.
  We are working together right now and will have a markup tomorrow in 
the Energy and Commerce Committee to address the drug issue and the 
cost of drugs. As I said earlier, I can't remember a President of the 
United States more engaged in getting better prices for consumers than 
this one. Donald Trump has led the country in an initiative to drive 
down the cost of drugs, and Congress is responding in a bipartisan way, 
and that is a good thing. We should do that here, Mr. Speaker.
  The resolution before us today, if you are just watching or listening 
to my colleagues, is just that. it is a resolution. It will never leave 
the House because it is only for the House. It is the taxpayer-funded 
equivalent of a press release; that is all it is.
  And we know that there are Members who never have accepted the 
outcome of the 2016 election, and no matter what the President says or 
does, they want to do a resolution or attack him. Yet the American 
people want us to come here and get our work done and stand up for 
them.
  So rather than that resolution, I genuinely wish that H.R. 692, a 
bill that would protect people with preexisting conditions, was what we 
were voting on today. We stand ready to work with Democrats to get that 
done and provide that safety net that these Americans need.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge opposition to this resolution, and I yield back 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, before I talk about H. Res. 271 which is before the 
House today, I want to respond to my ranking member's statements about 
H.R. 692. This is the bill that he repeatedly has mentioned on the 
Republican side.
  I want to point out that the Republican bill, H.R. 692, under that 
legislation, you could theoretically buy insurance if you have a 
preexisting condition; but it is very deceptive because the bill will 
still allow insurers to set premiums based on health status, resulting 
in individuals with preexisting conditions being charged substantially 
more or priced out of the market.
  The Republican bill does not include critical ACA consumer 
protections, including community rating, essential health benefits 
requirements, and annual or lifetime prohibitions. Basically, the GOP 
bill would allow insurance companies to once again discriminate against 
130 million Americans with preexisting conditions. They would be priced 
out of coverage because they wouldn't be healthy enough. Individuals 
with preexisting conditions like cancer or diabetes could face 
extremely unaffordable premiums and, again, be priced out of the care 
that they desperately need.
  The GOP bill would also put a significant financial burden on older 
Americans, while doing very little to lower costs for young adults. 
This Republican bill leaves Americans worse off and does nothing, 
really, to protect people with preexisting conditions, in reality.
  Now, if I could speak again in support of H. Res. 271, which is 
before us today, that condemns the Trump administration's legal 
campaign to take away Americans' healthcare.
  As you know, last Monday night, the Justice Department filed a brief 
saying that they wanted the court to repeal the Affordable Care Act in 
its entirety.

                              {time}  1530

  The Trump administration's announcement last week that it would 
actively support this frivolous lawsuit striking down the entire 
Affordable Care Act shows the President's shameless disregard for the 
health and well-being of the American people, in my opinion.
  If the Trump administration got its way in court and the ACA is 
struck down, tens of millions of Americans would lose their health 
coverage overnight. Hundreds of millions would immediately lose 
protections for preexisting conditions, and we would be sent barreling 
back to the days of lifetime limits and price discrimination against 
women based on their gender.
  Republicans had their chance to repeal and replace the ACA, and the 
American people overwhelmingly rejected their plan. And now by refusing 
to defend the ACA in court, the Trump administration is asking the 
courts to do what President Trump and the Republican Congress could not 
do, and that is repeal the ACA and all the protections that it includes 
for the American people.
  Mr. Speaker, I have heard my colleagues on the other side of the 
aisle repeatedly claim that they stand for protections for people with 
preexisting conditions and for other protections included in the 
Affordable Care Act. Well, now is your chance to show it.
  We have an opportunity today to send a clear message that we will not 
support this reckless attack that imperils the well-being of millions 
of hardworking Americans.
  The time for empty promises has expired. It is time to act. The Trump 
Administration is determined to destroy protections for preexisting 
conditions and to tear down every last benefit guaranteed by the 
Affordable Care Act, and today's vote is an opportunity to stand up in 
solidarity against this heartless attack.
  I urge all of my colleagues to join me in supporting H. Res. 271, to 
send a clear message: We will not stand idly by while the Trump 
administration wages an all-out assault on Americans' healthcare.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. WALDEN. Mr. Speaker, I'd like to make a few comments on my bill, 
H.R. 692, known as the Pre-Existing Conditions Protection Act of 2019.
  As we've made clear today, Republicans have long believed that pre-
existing condition protections are an essential part of our nation's 
health care markets.
  These assurances give patients and families who have suffered from or 
are battling pre-existing conditions peace of mind. As a nation, we 
will not go back to the days when patients could be denied care or 
charged more than their peers because of their pre-existing condition.
  The Pre-Existing Conditions Protection Act has 45 cosponsors and 
would lock in existing protections for patients.
  It aims to achieve three important goals for patients: guaranteed 
access to coverage; a prohibition on pre-existing condition benefit 
exclusions; and, a ban on premium rating based on health status.
  This bill reaffirms the commitment by House Republicans to uphold 
these three safeguards, commonly defined as the principle pre-existing 
condition protections in Obamacare.
  And we can build on this foundation if necessary to adapt to 
potential changes in law or decisions from the courts in order to 
ensure our citizens who have pre-existing conditions are protected.
  In the first few months of the new Congress, Democrats have already 
voted down multiple attempts to lock in a commitment to legislate on 
pre-existing condition protections. Instead, they'd rather score 
political points on an issue that we actually have agreement on.
  This bill represents the desire of House Republicans to maintain 
these crucial protections for patients.
  Ms. JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, as the first registered nurse 
elected to Congress, I can attest to the importance of the Affordable 
Care Act in improving our country's health care, especially for the 133 
million Americans living with pre-existing conditions--of which 11.5 
million live in my home state of Texas.
  Today, we bring a resolution to the floor that reaffirms our support 
of the Affordable Care Act and defends its protections. It is clear as 
day that this president and his administration will stop at nothing to 
tear down the very law that has expanded critical health care coverage 
to millions of Americans.

[[Page H2968]]

  I urge my Republican colleagues to join us to protect the health care 
of all our constituents. We cannot stand silent when our health care 
system is thrown into chaos.
  I urge my colleagues to support this resolution.
  Ms. ESHOO. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H. Res. 271, Condemning 
the Trump Administration's Legal Campaign to Take Away Americans' 
Health Care.
  Last week, the Trump Administration launched a monstrous attack on 
our nation's health care system and on the people of our country when 
it was announced that they would be joining the 18 Republican state 
attorneys general in support of the Texas vs. United States lawsuit to 
strike down the entirety of the Affordable Care Act. By joining this 
lawsuit, the Trump Administration demonstrated they do not believe 
Americans should have access to comprehensive, affordable health 
insurance or that the 130 million Americans with preexisting conditions 
should be protected.
  I've already heard from many constituents who are frightened about 
losing protections for their preexisting conditions, panicking about 
being able to afford their medical bills, and worried about where they 
can go to get their health insurance if this lawsuit succeeds.
  For those enrolled in the Affordable Care Act, if this lawsuit is 
successful, 13 million Americans who gained health insurance through 
the Medicaid expansion will lose their health insurance; the 9 million 
Americans who rely on tax credits to help them afford their insurance 
plan will no longer be able to afford their insurance; and the 130 
million patients with preexisting conditions could be denied coverage 
or charged more.
  Since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law over 20 million 
Americans have gained health insurance that requires coverage for 
preexisting conditions; disallows charging sick consumers more; allows 
children to stay on their parent's health insurance until the age of 
26; and provides coverage for preventive health services with no cost 
sharing.
  The insurance reforms of the ACA protect every American, including 
those who get their health insurance through their employer. Every 
insurance plan today is required to cover ten basic Essential Health 
Benefits; there are no longer lifetime limits; and women can no longer 
be charged more because they are females. All of this is at risk if 
this lawsuit succeeds, and the Trump Administration demonstrated their 
total disregard for the consequences of its actions on the people of 
our country last week.
  On the first day of the 116th Congress the House voted to intervene 
in this lawsuit on behalf of the tens of millions of Americans who rely 
on and have benefited from the ACA. Today, we renew our promise to the 
American people that we will fight this Administration's sabotage and 
do everything to protect, defend and improve the ACA.
  The resolution we're considering today condemns the Texas vs. United 
States lawsuit and the Trump Administration's recent actions to 
intervene to seek the invalidation of every provision of the ACA. It 
calls on the Department of Justice to protect Americans with 
preexisting conditions, cease their efforts to destroy access to 
affordable health care, and reverse its position in the court case. I 
urge my colleagues to support this timely and critically important 
resolution we are considering today
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong and unequivocal 
support for H. Res. 271 as well as the underlying resolution and ask 
all Members to join me in supporting this resolution which condemns the 
Trump Administration's ongoing legal campaign to take away health care 
from more than 100 million Americans and to make health care 
dramatically less affordable for those fortunate enough to be insured.
  I thank Congressman Allred, my Texas congressional delegation 
colleague, for introducing this important resolution.
  As a new member of Congress who unseated an opponent who voted to 
repeal the Affordable Care Act dozens of times, the gentlemen from 
Texas knows first-hand how important and critical access to affordable, 
high quality, accessible health care available to everyone, including 
those with pre-existing conditions, to the well-being of American 
families.
  Because of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the national 
uninsured rate has been slashed from 14.8 in 2012 to 8.8 percent in 
2018.
  Texas has long led the nation in rate of uninsured so the comparable 
rates are 24.6 and 15 percent, respectively.
  Mr. Speaker, I distinctly recall a candidate for the highest public 
office in the land saying ``Obamacare is a disaster'' and appealing for 
voters to support him with this question:
  ``What have you got to lose?''
  The question deserves a response so I hope that person, who occupies 
the Oval Office, is listening to my answer.
  The Affordable Care Act, or ``Obamacare,'' has been an unmitigated 
success to the more than 20 million Americans who for the first time 
now have the security and peace of mind that comes with affordable, 
accessible, high quality health care.
  Mr. Speaker, Tip O'Neill used to say that ``all politics is local'' 
so let me share with you how Obamacare has dramatically changed lives 
for the better for the people in my home state of Texas.
  1.874 million Texans who have gained coverage since the ACA was 
implemented could lose their coverage if the ACA is entirely or 
partially repealed or invalidated.
  1.1 million Texans who purchased high quality Marketplace coverage 
now stand to lose their coverage if Texas v. United States, No. 4:18-
cv-00167-O (N.D. Tex.), the lawsuit brought by Republican Governors, 
and now whole-heartedly supported and aided by the Trump Administration 
were to succeed.
  913,177 individuals Texans who received financial assistance to 
purchase Marketplace coverage in 2016, averaging $271 per individual, 
are at risk of having coverage become unaffordable if the Republican 
Congress eliminates the premium tax credits.
  1.1 million Texans could have insurance if all states adopted the 
ACA's Medicaid expansion; these individuals will not be able to gain 
coverage if the Republican Congress eliminates the Medicaid expansion.
  508,000 kids in Texas who have gained coverage since the ACA was 
implemented are also at risk of having their coverage rolled back.
  205,000 young adult Texans who were able to stay on a parent's health 
insurance plan thanks to the ACA now stand to lose coverage if the 
Republican Congress eliminates the requirement that insurers allow 
children to stay on their parents' plans until age 26.
  646,415 Texans who received cost-sharing reductions to lower out-of-
pocket costs such as deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance are now at 
risk of having healthcare become unaffordable if the Republican 
Congress eliminates cost-sharing reductions.
  10.28 million Texans who now have private health insurance that 
covers preventive services without any co-pays, coinsurance, or 
deductibles stand to lose this access if the Republican Congress 
eliminates ACA provisions requiring health insurers to cover important 
preventive services without cost-sharing.
  Women in Texas who can now purchase insurance for the same price as 
men are at risk of being charged more for insurance if the ACA's ban on 
gender rating in the individual and small group markets is invalidated.
  Before the ACA, women paid up to 56 percent more than men for their 
health insurance.
  Roughly 4.5 million Texans who have pre-existing health conditions 
are at risk of having their coverage rescinded, being denied coverage, 
or being charged significantly more for coverage if the ACA's ban on 
pre-existing conditions is struck down.
  346,750 Texas seniors who have saved an average of $1,057 each as a 
result of closing the Medicare prescription drug ``donut hole'' gap in 
coverage stand to lose this critical help going forward.
  1.75 million Texas seniors who have received free preventive care 
services thanks to ACA provisions requiring coverage of annual wellness 
visits and eliminating cost-sharing for many recommended preventive 
services covered by Medicare Part B, such as cancer screenings, are at 
risk of losing access to these services if congressional Republicans go 
forward with their plan to repeal the ACA.
  The Affordable Care Act works and has made a life-affirming 
difference in the lives of millions of Americans, in Texas and across 
the country.
  This is what happens when a visionary president cares enough to work 
with a committed and empathetic Congress to address the real issues 
facing the American people.
  You want to know why the American people have Obamacare?
  It is because Obama cared.
  The same cannot be said about this Republican president and 
congressional Republicans who have made careers of attacking and 
undermining the Affordable Care Act's protections and benefits for the 
American people.
  I urge all Members to vote for H. Res. 271 and send a powerful 
message to the President and the American people that this House will 
not stand idly by as this Administration tries to take away health care 
from more than 130 million persons.
  Instead, this House will resist by all constitutional and appropriate 
means, including opposing this Administration in the courts and by 
passing the ``Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions and Making Health Care 
More Affordable Act of 2019,'' which will lower health insurance 
premiums with strengthened and expanded affordability assistance by:
  1. strengthening tax credits in the Marketplace to lower Americans' 
health insurance premiums and allows more middle-class individuals and 
families to qualify for subsidies;
  2. ensuring that families who don't have an offer of affordable 
coverage from an employer can still qualify for subsidies in the 
Marketplace; and,

[[Page H2969]]

  3. providing funding for reinsurance, to help with high-cost claims, 
improve Marketplace stability, and prevent the Administration's 
sabotage from raising premiums.
  The ``Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions and Making Health Care More 
Affordable Act of 2019,'' will also strengthen protections for people 
with pre-existing conditions by curtailing the Administration's efforts 
to give states waivers to undermine protections for people with pre-
existing conditions and weaken standards for essential health benefits.
  These improper waivers leave consumers with less comprehensive plans 
that do not cover needed services, such as prescription drugs, 
maternity care and substance use disorder treatment.
  Another way the ``Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions and Making 
Health Care More Affordable Act of 2019,'' protects consumers is by 
prohibiting insurance companies from selling junk health insurance 
plans that do not provide coverage for essential medical treatments and 
drugs, or cover people with pre-existing medical conditions.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time for debate has expired.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 274, the previous question is ordered on 
the resolution and the preamble.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on adoption of the 
resolution.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this question will be postponed.

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