Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Speaker, big insurance companies and their Republican allies are bitterly opposed to health care reform, and I understand their opposition. This bill will outlaw the worst and the most lucrative consumer abuses by the insurance industry. It repeals their unfair antitrust immunity. No more collusion and price-fixing to drive up your premiums. It outlaws the preexisting condition exclusion. It outlaws them from canceling your policy when you get sick, a common practice in the insurance industry. And no more small print lifetime caps that drive families to bankruptcy.
It improves Medicare coverage for all Americans and improves Medicare reimbursement for Oregon seniors and the disabled. The Republicans would have none of that. In fact, they opened new loopholes for abuses by the insurance industry by allowing them to base their national plans in the new state of the Northern Mariana Islands, which they have designated in their alternative. So when you have a complaint, you can call Jack Abramoff when he gets out of jail, and he will help you with your insurance problem. That's the Republican plan.
Our plan isn't perfect, but it is a good step toward providing affordable health care for all Americans.