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Mr. Speaker, it's nothing new for the Federal Government to try to run health care. The Federal Government has been committing medical malpractice against the Native American Indians for over 200 years. It's a miserable failure. Just ask those folks that live on Indian reservations. They are treated under a system called the Indian Health Service program, a universal government-run health care system for, specifically, Native American Indians. There are long waiting lines for service; doctors are scarce; the quality of medical care is poor; it costs too much, and it results in rationed health care. When the government is running health care, people get inferior treatment.
There has been a lot of talk lately about changing the name of "public option" to call it "Medicare part E" so that will sell with the American public, or the "consumer option" is another new politically correct phrase. I would like to suggest that we call it the "Public Indian Health Care Option for Everybody." The Indians have no option. They're forced to take the public plan.
Now let's look at the American government-run health care as it has worked out for them for 200 years. We have a lot of history taking care of the American Indians--or, shall I say, not taking care of them.
When Stephanie Little Light took her daughter, Ta'Shon Rain, to an Indian health service clinic in Montana, which she is required to do since she is under the universal health care Indian program, the doctor said that her little 5-year-old girl was just depressed. She had stopped eating and stopped walking. The little girl kept complaining to her mother that her stomach hurt all the time. After going back to the government-run health care clinic 10 more times, Ta'Shon's lung collapsed. She was then airlifted to a private, nongovernment hospital in Denver where they told her mom she had terminal cancer. The little girl who loved to dance and sing and dress up in Indian costumes always wanted to see Disney World, specifically Cinderella's Castle. So a charity sent the whole family there, but Ta'Shon didn't get to see that castle when they got to Florida. The little girl had died in a hotel room. This is a tragic example of universal medical health care run by the United States Government.
There is a big difference between good intentions and what really happens in the real world. When there are no doctors left and the taxpayer money is gone and when the bureaucrats control health care, people die. Is this what we are to expect under the new nationalized health care system?
They're trying to tell us that this new, improved disaster on Americans is going to be different. Yeah, right.
Mr. Speaker, they say on those Indian reservations, Don't get sick after June because that's when the Federal money runs out. So they ration health care. The Federal Indian Health Service agency calls itself--get this--a ``rationed health care system'' for Indians. How's that for truth about socialized medicine?
On another Indian reservation, Ardel Baker went to the reservation government-run clinic. She had chest pains. They sent her to a private hospital in an ambulance and put a note on her chest. The note read, ``Understand that Priority 1 care cannot be paid for by us at this time because of funding issues.'' So they put a note on her and sent her on her way to a private hospital because the government would not take care of her. Ardel managed to survive that ordeal, thanks to private medicine.
Victor Brave Thunder was not so fortunate. He felt real bad and went to a government clinic on the reservation. They misdiagnosed the fact that he had heart failure and gave him Tylenol and cough syrup and said, Get better. He later died.
Then there is Harriet Archambault. She tried five times to get an appointment on a reservation to get her hypertension medicine refilled, but government bureaucrats were nowhere to be found. So she died before she was able to get that sixth appointment at the government clinic for her medicine.
Mr. Speaker, these are examples of government-run medical malpractice against American Indians right here in America. Government-run health care never works. It never has. Even in America, we've proven it doesn't work.
The health care bill being pushed on the American people is not really about providing better quality at an affordable price. The government cannot do it better or cheaper. It's really about government control and intervention in the lives of the American people. It's about oppressive government.
So let's address specific issues of health care and solve them, like being able to buy insurance across State lines, allow businesses and associations to pool employees to get a better insurance rate, provide for a safety net for preexisting conditions and catastrophic injuries and illnesses. But we should never turn our health over to the United States Government. Just ask the American Indians.
And that's just the way it is.
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