Mr. HIMES. Mr. Speaker, it has become amply clear to all Americans, North, South, Republican, Democrat, rich, poor, that our health care system is not just a moral embarrassment to the greatest country on Earth, but a severe economic liability.
Our auto companies and our corporations stagger under cost increases. Our small businesses choose between covering their employees or taking a step towards insolvency. And of course, health care costs are the leading cause of bankruptcy for American families.
We cannot fix this economy without reforming our health care system. We cannot be fiscally responsible without addressing the stunning economic liabilities that we have associated with Medicare and other promises we have made.
The reforms that we are offering will offer a real choice of plans to small businesses in America. It will provide tax credits to small businesses, and it will end the practice of insurance companies denying coverage to Americans who need it. Most importantly, it will emphasize prevention, wellness, and patient-centered care.
The bottom line, reforming health care to contain rising costs is the most effective action we can take to return our Nation's budget to balance and make our workers the most competitive in the world.