Crowley Will Support Passage of Health Care Reform
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) will vote in support of President Obama’s health reform measure. Below are Congressman Crowley’s remarks, as prepared for delivery during general debate:
“Madam Speaker, I rise in support of The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, a historic measure that will put families first when it comes to accessing health care coverage.
“American families need this bill now more than ever. In the past decade, the cost of health care for American families has skyrocketed. Last year, more than half of Americans postponed care or skipped their medications because they could not afford it.
“If we do nothing, it is only going to get worse.
“If we do nothing, in ten years small businesses will shell out $29,000 in medical costs per employee—a staggering 166% increase;
“If we do nothing, the cost of an employer-sponsored health insurance plan will reach $24,000 a year by 2016—an outrageous increase of 84%; and
“If we do nothing, the American economy will break under the weight of mounting debt.
“Just saying no and doing nothing is not an option. And yet, some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle continue to tell us exactly that – stop, do nothing, things are okay as is. But, Americans know that the current situation is neither okay nor sustainable. Americans may be tired of endless media coverage regarding this debate. And, they might be frustrated by the lack of cordiality between Republicans and Democrats. But, they know that we have serious problems in our health care system that must be fixed.
“And we are ready to do it. The Democratic Congress, along with President Obama, has put together a reform measure that will put an end to abuses in the insurance industry and mandate that patients’ needs be put first.
“When the President signs this measure into law, immediately:
· Insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage to children who are sick or end coverage for Americans who get sick;
· Children and young adults will be allowed to remain on their parents’ insurance plans up to the age of 26—helping them stay healthy during this important transition period; and
· Seniors who currently have a gap in their prescription drug coverage will see the cost of their brand name drugs reduced by 50% and the gap in their prescription drug coverage reduced by $250. In the coming years, all gaps in coverage will be eliminated entirely.
“Beyond the immediate benefits, many other important reforms will go into effect within a few years:
· There will be stability and security for those who have health insurance. So, if you like the coverage you have currently, you can keep it.
· Small businesses will qualify for generous tax credits to help offset the cost of insuring their employees and keep them competitive in the global economy; and
· The growth in medical costs will go down, as will the Federal government’s deficit.
“Simply put: health reform is good medicine for American families and businesses.
“There is no doubt that this reform measure is not perfect. But, like any significant change in policy, it will always be a work in progress. We will make changes as we move forward. There is no denying, however, that today’s vote is historic and significant and will benefit millions of hard-working American families.
“Madam Speaker, it is time for courage. Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, ‘The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.’
“We must not be afraid of tomorrow, when today we can change the lives of millions of Americans for the better.
“I urge my colleagues to vote ‘YES’ and join us in the effort to put the health of Americans before insurance companies profits.”