Ms. HIRONO. Your health or your home? Americans should not have to make this choice, but all too often they have to because of the high cost of health care. Lesley Czechowicz of Kihei, Maui, called my office yesterday to tell me about her 20-year-old niece. Last year, her niece collapsed and fell into a seizure. Medics rushed her to the hospital; and, ultimately, she was diagnosed with epilepsy.
Her niece had a part-time retail job that did not offer health insurance to their employees. Because of the emergency care and subsequent follow-up visits to the doctor, her niece was recently forced to sell her house so that she could pay her medical bills. Lesley called me because she wanted to make sure I would support health care reform. She told me that while it's too late for her niece, it's not too late for our country. I couldn't agree more.
Private health insurance companies run a business. Their goal is to make money for their shareholders. They pay their CEOs millions of dollars a year while raising health care costs for the rest of us. Whose side are you on?