Mr. ALTMIRE. Mr. Speaker, with passage of the long-overdue SCHIP bill, Congress and the President expanded health care coverage to 4 million American children who were previously uncovered. This single step did more to improve our health care system in one day than we had seen in 8 years. But there is still more to be done.
Every individual, every family, and every business in America struggles every day with health care costs. Their inability to afford coverage and the increased cost for goods and services as a result of health care costs for their business, this issue affects everybody in every way.
But for the first time, the President and Congress plan to consider health care reform as part of the budget process so we can accurately account for the true costs of doing health care reform and of not doing health care reform, which would be the price of inaction.
Health care cost increases are on an unsustainable course, and we can no longer hide behind budget gimmicks and just pass along the tough fiscal decisions for future Congresses. The time has come to act.