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Mr. PALLONE. This is the last step that we must take to make health insurance reform a reality in this country for millions of Americans. For far too long, the Federal Government has allowed insurance companies to get away with the most abusive practices that prevent people from getting the medical treatment that they need to be healthy.
Earlier this week, we said ``no more.'' Just as the leaders of the civil rights movement did before us, this House took the courageous step to put an end to the blatant discrimination that millions of Americans suffer from every year at the hands of insurance companies. We said that we aren't going to let insurance companies put profits before people anymore. We've said that we're going to put patients and their doctors back in charge.
I know already I'm hearing from the other side of the aisle, Let's repeal and replace this bill. What I want to know is what do they want to repeal first? Closing the doughnut hole in Medicare so that seniors can afford their medicines? Or stopping insurance companies from dropping people's health insurance when they get sick and need it most? Or letting dependents stay on their parents' health care policy until the age of 26, especially amid a recession when it's hard for people to even find a job? Or maybe even providing small businesses with tax credits to help them afford health insurance for their employees.
Madam Speaker, in the last few days I have heard from so many people here in Washington as well as at home about how important this bill is and makes a difference in their lives on a daily basis and is going to be good for them and their families.
We've already taken a great step forward on behalf of the American people. Republicans shouldn't let us take it back. We can't let that happen. Let's just keep moving forward. Let's take this last step. Let's finish the job and pass this bill on behalf of America's families. Vote ``yes.''
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