Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Speaker, while the Republicans are mounting a fabulous defense of the health insurance industry, the party of do nothing is saying reform and health care is not needed.
They talk about competition, except they ignore the fact that the health insurance industry is exempt from antitrust law, so they can and they do collude to jack up the rates--two times the rate of inflation. Profits are up 250 percent in the last 10 years, while wages and earnings are down for most Americans and small businesses. But they ignore that little fact when they talk about we can't have a public plan. That would hurt competition. No, it will bring competition for once to the health insurance industry.
Then they forget about a few other things. They collude also to exclude individuals from coverage because you have been sick or you might get sick. Preexisting conditions or anything an insurance company doesn't like, they can deny you coverage, even if you are willing to pay their full premium.
They can and do, insurance companies, their friends, deny people renewals because they had the temerity to get sick after paying their premiums.