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Floor Speeches

Health Care Reform Repeal

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MR. PASCRELL.  There is not one Member of Congress in these distinguished Halls that has not been called upon to help a constituent who has been threatened to have their insurance taken away from them. Whether it was heart disease, whether it was cancer, asthma, high blood pressure--I've been through many of them. And isn't it interesting that when the congressional office intervenes, they give things a second thought. It should not be that way.

   Who are the 2,000 economists we're talking about that are wondering about this health care act? Are they the same ones who predicted enormous increases in the economy of the United States in the last 10 years? Oh, those 10 years we wish to forget, we have amnesia.

   Whether it be in town halls or small groups, when I have asked individuals to raise their hands if they were against closing the Medicare doughnut hole, allowing children to stay on a family's health plan until 26, ensuring Americans are not denied insurance for preexisting conditions, no one raises their hand. In the last debate I had, Madam Speaker, just before the election, my opponent didn't raise his hand and I went through 18 of these very specific parts of the health care legislation.

   In my district alone, repeal will increase the number of uninsured by 66,000. I can't vote for this repeal. I can't let them down or their insurance will go up.

   How about the business person? Sixty percent of businesses who go into bankruptcy it's because of the health care bills they can't afford. I can't let them down either.

   Before I conclude, I want to make this point, Madam Speaker: last October, Federal Judge Steeh found the mandate constitutional because by forgoing insurance, individuals are making an economic decision to pay for their health care costs later out of pocket. That's how we get stuck with the bill. We need to end this.

   That means that the people of Texas pay, the people of New Jersey pay, the people of California pay. In essence, everyone pays for those who don't have insurance. Let's get straight on this. We can't afford this, and we must reject repeal.


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