* Mr. CROWLEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a historic measure that will put families first when it comes to accessing health care coverage.
* American families need this bill now more than ever. In the past decade, the cost of health care for American families has skyrocketed. Last year, more than half of Americans postponed care or skipped their medications because they could not afford it.
* If we do nothing, it is only going to get worse.
* If we do nothing, in ten years small businesses will shell out $29,000 in medical costs per employee--a staggering 166 percent increase.
* If we do nothing, the cost of an employer-sponsored health insurance plan will reach $24,000 a year by 2016--an outrageous increase of 84 percent.
* And if we do nothing, the American economy will break under the weight of mounting debt.
* Just saying no and doing nothing is not an option. And yet, some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle continue to tell us exactly that--stop, do nothing, things are okay as is.
* But, Americans know that the current situation is neither okay nor sustainable. Americans may be tired of the endless media coverage regarding this debate. And, they might be frustrated by the lack of cordiality between Republicans and Democrats. But, they know that we have serious problems in our health care system that must be fixed.
* And we are ready to do it.
* The Democratic Congress, along with President Obama, has put together a reform measure that will put an end to abuses in the insurance industry and mandate that patients' needs be put first.
* When the President signs this measure into law, immediately: