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Congressman Tom McClintock

Representing the 4th District of California

3,400 Shalls

November 7, 2009


House Chamber, Washington D.C.  November 7, 2009.  M. Speaker:  The question before us comes to this: will Congress force American families to surrender control of their health care to the federal bureaucracy?

There’s nothing optional about this law – the word “shall” appears 3,400 times in it – each time backed by the full force of the government. 

You shall only get your health care through the government exchange.

You shall only select among the healthcare plans that the government czar has approved for you, whether they fit your family’s needs or not.

You shall buy a government-approved plan and pay for every government-imposed mandate in it through higher premiums, lower wages or higher taxes – and you’ll face steep fines and even federal prison if you decline to do so.

You “Shall” 3,400 times.

Whenever such a system is imposed, the result is always the same: massive cost overruns followed by a brutal rationing of care.

Instead of destroying everything that’s good about American health care, shouldn’t we first repair what’s wrong?

Primum non nocere – first, do no harm.