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Public Statements

Health Insurance Coverage

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Speaker, health insurance is not something we can take for granted. Every day, 14,000 Americans lose their coverage. A recent Treasury Department report noted that approximately half of all Americans under the age of 65 will lose their coverage at some point in the next 10 years.

Thousands are denied coverage because of preexisting conditions, like asthma, pregnancy, arthritis or diabetes. Millions more have no health insurance at all.

In Hawaii, public and private health insurance covers an estimated 92 percent of our population. That means that most of us have health insurance and, because of our Prepaid Health Care Act, our coverage is among the best in the country.

At the same time, Hawaii's economy has been hard hit, and our unemployment rate reached a 31-year high this past May, nearly doubling what it was just last year. Other States are similarly situated. H.R. 3200 will provide affordable health care coverage for those who lose it or never had it.

I urge my colleagues' support for health care reform now.

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