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Public Statements

Health Care Reform

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. DeFAZIO. The gentleman that spoke before me talked about transparency and accountability. Let's talk about the insurance industry pre-reform. They could cancel your policy if you got sick even though you had been paying the premiums for years. They could refuse to sell you a policy if they don't like the way you look or if you've had a minor health problem. We changed that. People can now get health insurance and keep their health insurance if they've been paying their premiums.

But now they want to go back to those bad old days, and they talk about transparency and accountability. How accountable is an industry that is exempt from antitrust law? Health insurance companies can and do collude to exclude people from coverage, to red line, to drive up premiums, to not sell in one State, not compete with one another. There's no free market and competition and transparency and accountability.

If the Republicans really wanted to do something today, and if they want to showboat with this repeal, they could at least replace it by making the industry comply with the same competitive rules as every other industry in America except for professional sports, and that is they would be subject to antitrust law restrictions.

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