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Ocean, Coastal, And Watershed Education Act

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Ocean, Coastal, And Watershed Education Act

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Ms. PINGREE of Maine. I thank my colleague, the gentlewoman from California, for yielding her time to me and thank you for this great bill. We are veering from the conversation a little bit. But first I want to talk about the Capps bill and just say how important it is to a State like mine, with a tremendous amount of ocean coastline, with an enormous number of young people who grow up on the waterfront, who are fishermen, who work in waterfront communities. This is a great program. I wholeheartedly endorse this particular piece of legislation. I know it's going to be great for our coastal communities, and I commend you for doing it. So thank you very much for what you're doing on the floor today.

I just wanted to take a little bit of time to answer my freshman colleague from Utah, who is also my office neighbor, and just talk about how seriously we disagree on this topic of health care. I, for one, am thrilled that we are here this weekend to finally take up an issue that is of such great importance to my constituents. I mean, frankly, when I go back to my district, I find that the more people hear about this health care bill, the happier they are. They are thrilled to know that as a small business they're going to start receiving subsidies to help support the cost of health insurance. My seniors are saying, Thank goodness we no longer will have to pay for preventive care under Medicare. Thank goodness we're going to get rid of the doughnut hole that was created by the other side, predominantly when they passed the Medicare prescription D plan.

We hear a lot about process, but I just want to talk a little bit about the process of insurance companies because that's what makes my constituents mad. When they hear about the fact that people are constantly denied coverage because of a preexisting condition--in many States, being a woman, a woman of child-bearing age is a preexisting condition. That will be gone with this bill. Immediately we'll say children are not a preexisting condition. None of them can be denied coverage. And by 2014, no one can be denied under this piece of legislation. We're going to get rid of lifetime caps, people who have a long-term illness who find that their insurance runs out in spite of the fact that they've been paying these high premiums.

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