(Mr. GREEN of Texas asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, for months now we have been hearing from the insurance industry that we cannot pass a Patients' Bill of Rights because it would increase costs and open employers to lawsuits, both of which would supposedly force employers to drop coverage.
Essentially, the insurance companies are trying to kill meaningful HMO reform with half truths and scare tactics.
The insurance industry, managed care organizations, HMOs and even big businesses have repeatedly tried to scare the American people saying the bill would dramatically raise premiums and force employers to drop health insurance for their employees.
The American people need to know the truth and that is that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, after thoroughly analyzing each section of the Patients' Bill of Rights, has determined that the bill would cost beneficiaries less than $2 a month.
In the State of Texas, where I come from, we have 2 years of experience with no increase attributable to the protections that we are trying to pass on the Federal level. That is right, for less than the cost of a Happy Meal, patients in HMOs would have what they really need, which is fairness, protection, and accountability.
Another of the scare tactics is businesses will drop health insurance coverage. There has been no exodus by employers to drop health coverage in Texas after 2 years of the law. What we see is more States following the Texas experience. California just has, and what we need is to make sure we pass a law that affects all Americans and not just those under State insurance policies.