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Mr. Speaker, I rise on this momentous day in support of this historic legislation. Just as our predecessors stood up for the American people to pass Social Security and Medicare, today we affirm our commitment to families across this country by passing comprehensive health care reform. Today, Democrats are once again showing whose side they are on, the side of the American people.
While my colleagues on the other side of the aisle like to focus on those who are against this effort, I've heard from too many of my own constituents whose stories exemplify why we need health reform and encouraged me to support this bill.
Constituents like Jody from Bristol. Jody and her family had to downgrade their health insurance after their premiums jumped 30% in one year. Just a few months later Jody was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. After 12 months her medical debt was more than $30,000. Now, even after she has insurance, she is struggling to pay off the $35,000 in credit card bills her family amassed to pay her health care.
It's in stories like these, of people facing severe financial difficulty because of medical debt, being denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, or losing their coverage when they get sick that creates the moral imperative to right these wrongs. In this bill we
will cap out of pocket costs, end discrimination based on pre-existing health conditions, and end the practice of insurance rescissions.
The American people may not like the complicated legal language of the bill or the messy process it takes in Washington to get historic acts accomplished. But after this bill is signed the parent whose children have been denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition will be able to get health insurance for them; young adults will no longer have to fear being without coverage because they will be able to stay on their parent's insurance; seniors will get relief from skyrocketing prescription drug prices; and small businesses will get tax breaks for offering their employees health.
Once this bill is signed, this country will be stronger, the economy will be stronger and the American people will be stronger than ever before. I thank the Speaker and my Democratic colleagues for their efforts on behalf of the American people and urge my colleagues to support this legislation.
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