Reiterating once again his commitment to small business as the engine of our economy, the President urges Congress to move forward immediately on steps to help them expand and create jobs. These proposals include using $30 billion in TARP funds to create a new Small Business Lending Fund to provide capital to community banks to increase lending to small businesses, offering a new tax credit for over one million small businesses that hire new workers or raise wages, and providing targeted support for the most innovative small businesses with the potential to export new goods and products.
Daily Archives: February 6, 2010
Before going out this morning to shovel the snow from the driveway, I think it’s time for a cartoon and some Cheerios.
(I think there may be a message here somewhere)
Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. (D 6th) was a guest blogger today for NJ Voices over at NJ.com. His blog post advocates for the continued push to reform the Nations health care system. “We can’t turn away from the job of finishing comprehensive health care reform for all Americans. We need to provide real choice for all Americans and lower premiums, end discrimination based on preexisting conditions, and end the status quo that has failed.” He stated on his facebook page.
The goal of health care reform is rather simple: to insure those who don’t have coverage, to hold down costs for those who do, and to abolish the abuses of the insurance industry. The status quo may be good for some special interests and their allies, but it is terrible for everyone else. Doing nothing doesn’t mean nothing happens; it means the situation will only get worse.
With all the discussions about a public option, health care exchanges, pre-existing conditions and other terms of the debate, we should remember why we are working for reform in the first place. The health care system is in a state of crisis.
There are more than 46 million Americans who don’t have health insurance. Another 14,000 lose coverage every day. The American family pays an average of $14,000 a year for coverage. Within 10 years, that figure will rise to $24,000. The extra $1,000 annually that everyone with coverage pays to care for the uninsured will increase every year.
Although New Jersey has more consumer protections than other states, people will still have their claims rejected because of pre-existing conditions. More businesses will face the bad choice of paying more or not covering their workers. Government costs will continue their upward spiral, putting more pressure on taxpayers. And the share of the GDP taken by health care costs will continue to grow, hampering the economy into the future.
The health care reforms moving through Congress address these concerns. Coverage would be offered to every American from their employer or through the insurance exchange. Costs would be controlled through competition, economies of scale, improving access to preventive care and doing away with the costs of the uninsured. The insurance companies would not be allowed to cap coverage or deny coverage because of age, race, gender or previous medical conditions.
The real choice is between the status quo, with all its consequences, and reform. We can’t turn away from this issue or those choices. We would be denying the American people what they need and deserve. I would hope that Republicans would join this discussion with constructive ideas. Health care should not be treated as a political battle; it is too important to the well-being of all Americans.