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Mr. DOYLE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 2, the Patients' Rights Repeal Act.
Day after day, new studies are showing just what's at stake in this debate over health care reform. The Department of Health and Human Services released a staggering report stating that up to 129 million Americans with preexisting medical conditions could lose their newly enacted protection from insurance company discrimination. The CBO has reported that this Republican repeal bill would add $230 billion to the Federal debt. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid found that repealing health care reform would reduce the solvency of the Medicare program by 12 years.
Repeal of last year's health care reforms would raise insurance costs for people in my home district of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and across the country, whether they are small business owners, retirees, working Americans, or recent college graduates. Health care reform took power away from the insurance companies and gave it back to the American consumers. Repeal of this reform would allow private health insurance companies to go back to the practice of cherry-picking low-risk customers and sticking it to the rest of us. What's more, it would increase prescription drug costs for seniors who fall into the doughnut hole, raising the average cost of prescription drugs for these seniors by over $500 this year and by over $3,000 in 2020.
In a nutshell, the Republican repeal means this: children with preexisting conditions denied coverage; young people up to age 26 can't stay on their parents' plans; pregnant women and breast and prostate cancer patients could be thrown off their insurance policies; seniors will pay more for their drugs; the deficit will increase by $230 billion; small businesses pay higher taxes.
That doesn't sound very good to me. Repeal helps no one, no one but the insurance industry. I adamantly oppose this effort to repeal this health care reform bill.
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