Health Care Status Quo Wrong for American Businesses and Families

There were 11 town halls
in Oregon this August. I heard a lot of heartfelt anger and confusion from
Oregonians about health care in our nation. I am sure it echoed the confusion
and frustration from voice across our nation.

A lot Oregonians came out
to tell me that they did not like one bit of the descriptions of the reform
plan that they were hearing on radio and on television. If reform means that
they would have to give up their insurance or give up their doctor, they did
not want any of it.

If reform meant that
government panels would deny care to seniors, then they wanted me to know, that
was outrageous and that they would never support it. And you know? I agree with

If reform has those
features, it sure won’t get my vote and I don’t think it would get a single
vote in this chamber. But as most of America now knows, those claims were lies,
told to scare the bejeebers out of the citizens by folks who profit from our
current health care system. That says a lot, doesn’t it?

That those who want to block repairs to our broken health
care system have to resort to creating myths in order to whip up opposition.
Now the opponents of reform have their own plan, which is to continue to profit
from the current system. Our current broken system.

Their Plan, simply put, is a terrible plan for America. The opponents’
status quo plan features shutting out folks with potential health care risks,
those who most need health care, from our health care system. Their plan
features denying coverage to citizens with preexisting conditions. Their plan
involves dumping citizens out of coverage who after years of paying their
premiums develop a health care problem and then they lose their health care.

The opponent’s status quo plan is to continue a broken
system in which premiums double every seven years, putting health care out of
reach to America’s working families and
robbing workers of their pay raises that could improve their standard of

The opponents’ plan is to
continue health care rationing by insurance company bureaucrats who make money
denying claims the opponents plan is to continue lifetime limits—that pile
massive debt on those unfortunate enough to get sick or injured. The opponents’
plan is to continue a system in which health care costs drive more than half
the bankruptcies in America, tearing the financial foundations out of our
working families, setting them back decades, if in fact they ever recover at

What I did hear from
citizens back home is they don’t like that status quo plan. They want to see
those problems fixed. They want as an individual to be able to join a pool and
get a much better deal. They, as a small business, want to know that they will
be able to control health care costs and keep providing health insurance and
maybe even get a better deal and not have to pay the transfer costs of all the
folks that don’t have health care and end up in the emergency room.

So, for a small business
to thrive in our nation, for American families to thrive, for larger business
to compete internationally, we must fix our broken health care system. The
status quo plan put forward by opponents is simply wrong for America, wrong for
our families and wrong for business.