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Public Statements

Help with Health Insurance

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


HELP WITH HEALTH INSURANCE -- (House of Representatives - July 09, 2009)

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Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Speaker, over 45 million people in America have no health insurance, and over 8 million of them are children. Millions more don't have enough health insurance; that is dramatic, but abstract.

Let me make it more real and tell you about two of these people I met in Hawaii last week. One woman told me that she is self-employed and pays all of her taxes. She works hard, but for her entire life she has taken care of herself because she can't afford health care. For years she self-treated a busted knee. It finally got to the point she had to see a doctor, but she couldn't afford it. She did something nobody should ever have to do: she used a friend's insurance card to get the care she needed.

Another man bravely told me he was homeless. He doesn't fit the stereotype. He has a college degree and works two jobs. One of his job provides him with health insurance, but he cannot afford the 20 percent copay. He needs that money to buy food for his wife and children, and to buy gasoline to drive his car to work. So he goes without regular doctor visits and hopes for the best.

These people aren't asking for a handout. They are asking for a little bit of help. It is time we provided it.

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