WASHINGTON - Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski (PA-11) provided the following statement explaining how he will vote for the health care reform bill. The bill will be voted on later this evening.
"Today I will vote for legislation designed to improve the affordability and accessibility of health care. Americans already spend more on health care than the people of any other nation. If we take no action, health care costs are expected to double over the next ten years, just as they have over the last ten years. It is not the bill I would have written if it were up to me alone, but it is the best we can do at this time.
"This was one of the most difficult votes I have ever cast, primarily because there is a great deal of confusion about what this bill will do. Senior citizens do not have to worry about losing any benefits because of this bill. In fact, their coverage for prescription drug costs and preventative care will improve. No federal funding will be used to fund abortion. The bill does not empower the federal government to take over health care. If people are happy with the insurance they have, nothing needs to change.
"However, this bill allows the American people to choose the health insurance plan that best fits individual and family needs by creating a marketplace of insurance plans. For too long, private insurance companies have monopolized how health insurance operates. This bill attempts to rein in those private insurers by prohibiting their most egregious abuses: denying coverage for individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, imposing a lifetime cap on medical care, and limiting the ability of individuals to change jobs without the fear of losing insurance coverage. It will also enable young adults to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26.
"I thank the many Northeastern Pennsylvanians who have shared their thoughts with me on this important legislation over the past few months. When you are sick, the last thing you should have to worry about is how to pay the bills. Insurance is supposed to relieve this worry, but instead the current system has made that worry worse. Today, we are working to reverse this course."
The Democratic leadership ditched the Demon Pass approach that had so many of my Republican friends knickers in a twist. So the House will pass the Senate bill and after the President signs it that will be the law of the land. A separate bill to be sent to the Senate to fix the differences but even if they screw it up health care reform has passed.
This is a big win for President Obama, the Democratic Party and most importantly the American people. I hope that the news coverage will switch from process stories to explaining the benefits but I won't hold my breath. Right now Fox News is is off the air on my cable system which is probably a local problem but it could be that all their heads have exploded and took out the electronics.
ABFS, LuLac and LVR have been doing the play by play all day.
From one of my favs in Congress Allyson Schwartz:
Families across our nation understand that the status quo in health care is unacceptable and unsustainable.
And, they have called upon us - through millions of supportive calls, emails, and messages to Congress - to pass a uniquely American solution to ensure that all Americans have access to meaningful, affordable health coverage.
That moment is now.
It is time to put American families – not insurance companies - in control of their own health care.
It is time to hold insurance companies accountable to keep premiums down and prohibit the denial of care and coverage.
It is time to ensure that Americans have access to affordable health insurance choices.
It is time to finally fix the Medicare prescription drug gap, known as the donut hole, and provide seniors with greater access to preventive and primary care.
It is time to contain the rising cost of health care for Americans, and reduce the deficit for our nation by $1.2 trillion.
Later today, Congress will take action to bring down health care costs for middle income families, help small businesses afford coverage for their employees, improve coverage for seniors, reign in wasteful spending, and provide access to coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans.
This vote comes after hundreds of hours of debate, meetings, and bipartisan dialogue.
In the 13th Congressional District, health care reform will improve coverage for 443,000 residents, provide tax credits and other assistance to 135,000 families and 15,000 small businesses to help them afford coverage, and improve Medicare for 115,000 beneficiaries.
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