Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, no one believes the loyal opposition that Democrats don't care about seniors. Need I provide a history lesson 101 here?
Today is when we must ask ourselves the real reason we came to Congress. Was it to fulfill the hopes of the people, or to take the path of least resistance? The easy thing would be to say the problem is too big, the interests are too aligned, and then maintain the status quo. The hard thing is to bring everybody together, make the compromises that need to be made, and give the American people true health care reform that will carry our country through for generations.
This is the same choice that was laid before the Members of the 89th Congress when they voted on the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. And where would we be today as a nation had those Members simply succumbed to the difficulty of making real change? Where would we be today? Where would we be in mortality? Where would we be with the seniors who were sick and poor at that time without those two programs?
We are now 40th among the industrial nations in infant mortality. When will we wait to have our consensus? We need this reform. Let us not leave another generation to wonder what we could have been.
Let's pass historic legislation that provides the promise of affordable health care for every American today and the generations to come.