By EDWIN QUARLES
Sunday, President Barack Obama's pledge that "If you like your health care provider now, you can keep it" won't last more than a couple of years, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, said during a visit to Lufkin on Friday.
"There's too much wording in the bill that would make it impossible for people to keep their own health care provider. There are too many things in the bill that won't allow it," Gohmert said. "A number of things are written in the bill that if changes are made by the employer, whether it's medicines are added or benefits are added, any changes would make the insurance obsolete."
Gohmert said the government offering health care would put private firms out of businesses, especially if they are made to offer the exact plans the government offers.
"The government should be the referee with health care, not the provider," Gohmert said. "Once the government becomes a provider they are a player, not a referee."
Gohmert said the bill, as written, would eventually get people put on lists to wait for their health care and some may get help and some may not.
Gohmert thinks there's about a 50-50 chance the current bill will get through and made into law.
"I think it could go either way and it could definitely stall out, but Obama is committed to this and I've heard there's going to be a strong ad campaign in the fall to help get the public on board," he said.
Gohmert has a proposed bill for health care that he says would give individuals control of their health insurance.
"Money would go into a pre-tax health care savings account and it would be your policy. You own it," Gohmert said. "It would give you cash in an account and you would have a debit card strictly coded for the account to help pay for doctor visits, medicine, hospital stays on so on. It would give the control back to the individual."
Gohmert also discussed the recent pay raises teachers received through stimulus money.
"Teachers deserve the raises, but they deserve them for more than just one year," Gohmert said. "Some schools used it as a up-front bonus and that's probably the best way to do it because it is a one-time thing.
"The 10th Amendment states that decisions regarding education are reserved to the states and the federal government has put a lot of money into education that could be put to use somewhere else," Gohmert said. "It's also a problem when you lose classes like PE and history and time for recess and teachers have to teach to the tests, especially with so much riding on those."
Gohmert also talked about the bill he introduced called the "Congressional Hope for Uniform Recognition of Christian Heritage (CHURCH) Act of 2009."
This bill states there should be a plaque in the Capitol's National Statuary Hall pointing out that the Capitol was used for church services in the early 18th Century.
"This is not to try to shove Christianity in people's faces, it's about wanting to educate people about the history of the Capitol and how it was used to hold non-denominational church services," Gohmert said. "I feel it's something important that people ought to know."