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Public Statements

Women's Influence In Health Care

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Ros-Lehtinen) is recognized for 5 minutes.

Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, in many households, women are the main link between our family members and the health care that they receive. Women make the majority of health care decisions for their families. As the mother of two young adults and a new grandmother, I know the many responsibilities placed on women with children. From the time children are born to far beyond when they reach adulthood, a mother's care and advice are never far away. If we are fortunate, eventually we will be the grown children of elderly parents.

In my family, my mother suffers from Alzheimer's, among many other age-related problems. I know the responsibility of caring for our elders. My day would not be complete without at least making sure that I, along with my husband, children, and parents, have and take all of our prescriptions and make it to our doctors' appointments on time. It is no wonder that women are the majority of health care workers in the United States. We are well prepared for this task.

Every American deserves access to health care insurance. This is our goal, and it must be the goal of our Congress. The goal must not be a bill that costs $1 trillion. The goal must not be a bill written behind closed doors. The goal must not be a bill that increases taxes on our families and all of our small businesses. The goal must not be a bill that passes huge debts on to our children and grandchildren.

Women deserve better. Every American deserves better. They deserve health care treatment, and every American deserves both health care treatment and efficiency at an affordable cost. But as America's mothers will tell you, Congress should be utilizing what works in our health care system and fixing what does not. Mothers are masters at finding commonsense and practical solutions.

What we currently see is a health care system burdened by excesses and inefficient bureaucracy. What we see is our children denied coverage because of a preexisting condition. What we see is parents changing jobs, causing our families to lose our doctors. What we see is women and our parents being charged more for insurance premiums because of their gender or because of their age.

What we don't see is how a government takeover of our health care is going to provide for our families' needs. What we don't see is how a bureaucratic takeover of our health care will bring down the cost of health care procedures or health care insurance. What we don't see is how the Pelosi $1 trillion bill helps us more than it hurts us.

Every American family deserves affordable health care and affordable health insurance. To use a mother's saying, let's not go throwing out the baby with the bath water. Simple, commonsense, cost-effective reform is how we can include all families in our health insurance market. We can and we must accomplish health care reform without ruining the current health care coverage that is enjoyed by the majority of families.

Women across the United States want to protect their family's coverage while ensuring that every other mother out there has the same access that she does. The Pelosi bill is not the answer. We can do better. We must do better.

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