A picture of Representative Robert E. Andrews
Robert A.
Former Democrat NJ 1
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    Exchange Information Disclosure Act

    by Former Representative Robert E. Andrews

    Posted on 2014-01-16

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    ANDREWS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.) Mr. ANDREWS. I thank my friend from New Jersey for his tireless leadership on this very important cause. It is inspirational.

    Mr. Speaker, since the Affordable Care Act became law, 9 million Americans have health insurance who did not have it before--9 million people. Now, not surprisingly, there have been problems in the implementation of the law. Many customer service problems need to be addressed, and we should come together in good faith and make sure they get addressed. This bill takes us in the opposite direction. It says that people who could be working on solving the very real and important problems of customers who are trying to enroll in health insurance will have to write a report once a week instead of once a month.

    If you go to get your car fixed and if there is a long line of people ahead of you and if you are going to be late to get back to work and if you find out the reason the line takes so long is that the person at the counter explains the history of the carburetor to every person who comes to pick up his car instead of waiting on the people who are in line, requiring a report a week instead of a report a month just doesn't make any sense.

    There is another reason to oppose this bill, though, that is even more important than that. Today, 10,000 Americans will go home and tell their children or their loved ones that they have run out of income because their unemployment benefits have expired. This week, 72,000 Americans will have that happen to them. There is a bill in this House, on this floor, that could be taken up this morning and voted on to provide relief to our neighbors and family members who are in that position. This majority leadership has ignored that legislation.

    This is a breathtaking misplacement of priorities. We can spend an hour of the House's time on harassing Health and Human Services into filing one report every week instead of one report every month, but we can't take 5 minutes and debate on a bill that will restore a measure of decency and income to 72,000 Americans a week. Many of these Americans are over 50 years old. For every one job that is advertised there are three people looking for that job. The callous indifference of the House majority leadership to these people is just wrong--and so is this bill.

    We should reject this bill and, instead, proceed with a vote on aid to America's long-term unemployed.

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