Crowley Cheers House Passage of Historic Health Care Reform Plan

Nov 7, 2009 Issues: Health Care

Washington, D.C. —Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) cheered today’s historic passage of The Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962).  This historic health care reform legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 220-215.  Below are Congressman Crowley’s remarks, as prepared for delivery during general debate: 

“In the past decade, the cost of health care for American families has skyrocketed. Premiums have doubled, yet wages have remained stagnant. Last year, more than half of Americans postponed care or skipped their medications because they could not afford it.

“This is not just a failure of our health care system, it is morally unacceptable.  And, without this legislation, it is only going to get worse.

“Without reform, the cost of an employer-sponsored health insurance plan will reach $24,000 per year by 2016 — an outrageous increase of 84%. 

“Without reform, American small businesses will lose $52 billion in profits to high health care costs over the next 10 years.

“And without reform, 11 million Americans will lose their health insurance coverage by 2019.

“The status quo is no longer acceptable or affordable.  

“There was a failure of leadership over the last 8 years to implement the changes necessary to help hard working Americans, but that is changing today. 

“Today, Democrats are taking action and delivering to the American people real change: a better, safer and more affordable way of life.

“The Affordable Health Care for America Act will provide millions of hard working American families with new and affordable health care choices, including a one-stop health care market-place that will give them a real choice between private or public health care plans, ensuring these Americans have the options to choose which health care plan best fits their needs.

“Our health care plan provides stability and security for those who have health insurance.  If you like what you have, you can keep it.

“Our health care plan prevents insurers from dropping you if you get sick or denying you coverage for a pre-existing condition.

“Our health care plan gives American families peace of mind.  A peace of mind that health care is not just a luxury for some, but an affordable, accessible benefit for all."

Congressman Crowley is a member of the exclusive House Committee on Ways and Means, with significant jurisdiction over health care reform.