Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, I rise to express how important it is that we pass comprehensive health reform this year that expands health insurance coverage, reins in spending, and is fiscally responsible.
The health reform package that the committees will consider this week shows a genuine commitment to reversing the current unsustainable trends, to providing stability for hardworking Americans, and to being fiscally responsible. There is no question that we must take action and that our actions must be fully paid for. With these ground rules, we face difficult decisions, many of which may not be politically popular, but my colleagues and I on Ways and Means are fully committed to paying for this essential legislation.
Our current path in delivering health care is unsustainable, and I share with you some disturbing figures from my home State of New Jersey that illustrates the point.
New Jerseyans are paying more and getting less. Between 2000 and 2007, the average New Jersey worker's share of family premiums nearly doubled, outpacing the growth in wages nearly five times over.
Mr. Speaker, we must act this week, and we must act with all due resolve.