U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) advocated for a strong public health insurance option in a statement he made in the House of Representatives today, saying it would provide a place for families to turn when private insurance companies deny them coverage.
The congressman's submitted statement is as follows:
"Private insurance companies are for-profit businesses. So I can't blame them for being in the business of denying access to needed care, avoiding and dumping the sick, and confusing consumers. They are, after all, driven by profits--not patients.
I, however, am in the business of looking out for my constituents--for the hard working families in New Jersey that are being tossed aside so that the insurance companies can maximize their profits.
I support America's Affordable Health Choices Act because it creates a rational marketplace where Americans can find transparent information about their insurance options; guaranteed coverage that won't discriminate based on health, gender, or job; and meaningful coverage that won't leave families laden with debt when they need help the most.
Most importantly, I support the meaningful public health insurance option envisioned in H.R. 3200. Today, when a family is dissatisfied with their coverage, when they see themselves getting the shaft, there's rarely anywhere else to turn. In fact, in 21 states, the largest insurer dominates at least half of the market.
We can do something about this. A strong public health insurance option will add a solid option to the health insurance market place--providing a meaningful choice of plans for those who need coverage and giving Americans a place to go when they can't find or afford private coverage.
I will end with a quote from former Chief Justice Earl Warren who said, "Many people consider the things which government does for them to be social progress, but they consider the things government does for others as socialism."
Let's put aside the rhetoric and the fear-mongering, make some social progress, and provide stability and security for hard-working Americans.
Thank you, Speaker.