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Public Statements

Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for your leadership and persistence on this critical matter.

``Mischaracterization,'' I think, is the word of the day. When you look back at the beginning of the discussions of health care, there's been more mischaracterizations of what was in the bill.

But this bill that is before us, H.R. 4626, is only two pages--not 2,000, not 2 million--two pages, very clear and to the point. So what this bill seems to do--if I had my way, I would have brought this bill up when we discussed the beginning, back last summer. But I'm one person. To call them out, to call out the other side, and to call out the other end of the building.

I mean, we've passed 290 pieces of legislation that they haven't even looked at yet. And this is critical. This is to end the anticompetitive, antitrust exemption. Now we have a new administration. Talk is cheap about how we're going to bolster antitrust laws. I haven't seen anything yet so far, but I'm hopeful.

In all the industries in America, there are only two that have antitrust exemptions--baseball, America's pastime; and the health insurance industry, America's nightmare--and I think it's long past time we get rid of their exemption.

Now, I've heard so many terms since the parties last summer, through the fall, through the winter, about uncompetitiveness. We want open markets.

Now we look at the system, and it's price fixing and collusion over and over and over again. Ninety-four percent of the health insurance markets are concentrated.

Here's what that means, Mr. Chairman. In every State of the Union, maybe, through the Chair, there's three or four companies that are selling insurance, that are writing insurance. This is why we are where we are today. No other reason. Because there is a lack of insurance. We have been accused of socialism. That is the biggest joke.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

We're talking about the biggest profits ever, just like Wall Street declared the biggest profit year they've ever had in 2009. That's interesting.

We talk about we want to save the smaller insurance companies. We've saved nobody. In the last 60 years, all that we've done is concentrate power, and the result of it is higher cost to the average citizen that lives in my district and every district here on the floor.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

I thank you, Mr. Chairman. Be persistent. Call the other folks out at the other end of the building and we'll see who really cares about the policyholders in this country.


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