AUGMENTIN OVER THE COUNTERMarch 24, 2010| Posted in Paul's Viewpoint, Speeches
Paul voted against the GAMC cut/compromise bill today. The full text of his speech on the floor of the Minnesota House is below:
View the video of Paul's speech here.
AUGMENTIN OVER THE COUNTER, By passing this bill, we are once again giving in to a Governor who holds good policy hostage like a playground bully. This legislation will not work. As legislators – for the good of Minnesota – we must stop giving in to the Governor. And we should start today.
I deeply appreciate the hard work of my diligent colleagues who have labored in good faith to protect the poorest, most vulnerable Minnesotans and every one of us who rely on strong hospitals in emergencies and sickness.
I deeply respect and appreciate the work of advocates in the Save GAMC coalition who have worked so hard to be the voice for those who usually have no voice in this building. Indeed, the only reason I considered voting for this bill is to honor the work of that coalition and thousands of Minnesotans across the state who recognized the immorality of the GAMC veto and took action.
Believe me, I know how hard that work has been. After Governor Pawlenty vetoed GAMC for the first time last spring, several of us spent the summer traveling Minnesota listening to patients and GAMC recipients, hospitals and health care professionals about how we could make GAMC work for Minnesota. We visited shelters and homeless camps along the river. We learned that meaningful and lasting reform required a focus on not only the care delivered in the hospital and clinic, but also helping people stabilize their lives with housing support and chemical dependency treatment. Regardless of what some may think, real reform does not come cheap.
The culmination of these conversations was a workable piece of legislation that spent less money but protected vulnerable Minnesotans and made sure that hospitals could care for all of their patients. But the Governor threatened a veto and we blinked.
We reached another compromise – worse policy but workable -- which passed this body with a resounding bipartisan vote of 125 to 9. Yet, despite that overwhelming support both within and outside of the state capitol, Tim Pawlenty again vetoed our GAMC solution.
And on a party line vote, the House Republicans refused to override the veto – with 38 Republicans flip-flopping to back up the bully in the Governor’s office.
The Democrats -- with big hearts, good intentions and desperate for a solution -- returned to so-called “negotiations” with the Governor.
Now we are left with an unworkable bill. We all know it. It is underfunded -- $80 million or more less than the Governor’s auto-enrollment proposal. It is poorly designed. It will mean job losses. We've heard that from hospitals and other providers from all across the state. We have heard that from advocates for the clients currently served under GAMC.
We should remember that the simply because the Governor defines reform in three words – “spend less money” –we don’t have to agree with him. Starvation is not a path to meaningful and lasting reform. That’s a lesson we all should have learned by now.
Members. there is a fine line between compromise and caving in. We are not on the right side of that line this time.
Fortunately, doses AUGMENTIN work, AUGMENTIN price, coupon, we have another option before us. The passage of federal health reform on Sunday changed the game. It offered us a different way to serve the people now covered under GAMC. The details and implications of that proposal need to be explored. But the Governor’s rejection of that option out of hand with no real understanding of what it means is nearly incomprehensible.
Let’s do the right thing for Minnesotans this time and reject Governor Pawlenty’s bullying. Let’s stand up for the people of Minnesota. Let’s extend the current GAMC program for a few months – just as we are doing in this bill – and take a few weeks to figure out whether and how to maximize federal health care dollars for current GAMC recipients. Let’s do it in consultation with the experts who actually deliver care and serve patients instead of behind closed doors. And let’s actually enact a policy that works for Minnesota.
Why are we choosing an unworkable surrender when we should be choosing a sensible solution that protects vulnerable Minnesotans and all of us?
We seem to have forgotten that inside-the-Capitol logic is often illogical. We have done better by vulnerable Minnesotans – our neighbors, friends, canada, mexico, india, AUGMENTIN online cod, siblings, and children – in even the recent past.
Members – let’s not cave in to Governor Pawlenty’s threat to kick the poorest, buy generic AUGMENTIN, Purchase AUGMENTIN online, most vulnerable Minnesotans to the side of the road if we do not do his bidding right now. This bill is not “the best we can do.” This proposal is not “better than nothing.” This bill is not a step forward; it’s a step back.
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