State of Our Economy
Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, on a day after the President addressed this country on the need for regulatory reform in the financial sector, I stand before you to discuss the state of the economy. Unfortunately, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle fail to comprehend the inextricable connection between the economy and the need for comprehensive health care reform.
We must remember that the extraordinary rise in health care costs and insurance premiums has affected several segments of our economy. Surging health care costs slow the rate of job growth by making it more expensive for companies to add new workers.
As health care costs rise, corporate operating margins are cut, which reduces the capacity of firms to grow by investing in research, plant and equipment. Furthermore, high and escalating out-of-pocket costs are forcing families to delay mortgage payments on their homes.
Since enactment of the Recovery and Reinvestment Act, we have prevented the layoff of tens of thousands of teachers, police officers, and other essential public servants, and we have put people to work renovating schools and hospitals without one vote from the other side.