UNINSURED WEEK; Congressional Record Vol. 155, No. 50
(House of Representatives - March 24, 2009)

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[Page H3759]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                             UNINSURED WEEK

  (Mr. COSTA asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 
  Mr. COSTA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to call upon the Congress to 
reform our health care system. It's important. Forty-six million 
Americans currently have no health care insurance, yet health care 
costs have risen dramatically in years.
  Insurance premiums in California have risen at a rate more than twice 
the rate of inflation, eating up a larger and larger percentage of 
household incomes. With the recent economic downturn, far too many 
families are losing their employer-based coverage and unable to afford 
the cost of health care on their own.
  Like it or not, we taxpayers are paying for the health care in some 
of the most expensive ways possible, through the emergency room, for 
those who are uninsured. Last year, hospitals in my district provided 
nearly $200 million in uncompensated care. Clinics in our Central 
Valley alone have provided care for over 600,000 who have little 
insurance or none at all.
  This system cannot and should not continue. The bottom line is we are 
paying for the uninsured today--the 46 million Americans who do not 
have insurance. We ought to do it in a better way.
  Our citizens' health and our Nation's fiscal health depend on 
meaningful reform. Let's begin that effort.