Mr. BACA. Mr. Speaker, Anthem Blue Cross in my district of California has requested raising premiums by 39 percent.
If we do nothing, the American people will continue to pay higher premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs now and in the future. And the insurance companies will continue to control the high cost of health care. A step-by-step approach is not enough, and it is not the answer, especially for the 219,000 families in my district without coverage, and with a 14 percent unemployment rate.
Health care reform holds the insurance companies accountable, ends discrimination based on preexisting conditions, cuts and eventually closes the doughnut hole for thousands of seniors, including 5,200 in seniors in my district, expands coverage for 31 million Americans who do not have health care coverage, and cuts the national deficit by $100 billion over the next 10 years.
Health care reform must make insurance more affordable, providing the largest middle class cut for health care in history, reducing the premium costs for tens of millions of families and small business owners who are priced out of coverage today. I ask us to support health care reform.