Nov. 7, 2009: CONGRESSMAN RYAN STATEMENT ON PASSAGE OF HISTORIC HEALTH CARE REFORM
Washington, DC—Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-17) released the following statement after passage of H.R. 2692, The Affordable Health Care for America Act:
“For too many years, due to plant closings, personal hardships, and medical catastrophes, tens of thousands of families in my congressional district have lost their health coverage been priced out of the health insurance market through no fault of their own. They’ve been pushed off their health care policies, denied insurance due to pre-existing conditions and ended up in bankruptcy. But now, finally, we have passed a critical milestone toward universal, affordable health care for all Americans.
“No longer will people be denied coverage because of some pre-existing condition. No longer will our families go bankrupt because of health care costs. No longer will health care be out of reach for thousands of our friends and neighbors. This reform should have happened thirty years ago, but I am proud to support it today. The Affordable Health Care for America Act will require legal residents of the United States to have health insurance, so they do not show up at the emergency room without insurance, resulting in taxpayers getting stuck with their medical bill. The Democratic health reform bill will create new insurance exchanges for individuals and families to reduce the cost of purchasing insurance, establish a public plan to be administered by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure competition in the marketplace, expand eligibility for Medicaid, and fill-in the so-called “donut hole” for prescription drugs in Medicare Part D.
“This is a great day for America. This legislation will improve access to affordable health and help control skyrocketing health care costs. Already Americans pay more and get less in health care benefits than other countries. Yet millions remain uninsured and thousands are losing their coverage every day. Make no mistake; our most expensive option is to do nothing. Without this bill, rising costs will make insurance unaffordable for many employers and employees and uncontrollable increase will continue to be a major factor in spiraling federal deficits. Without comprehensive reform, catastrophic health care expenses will continue to be a major cause of personal bankruptcy. By eliminating preexisting conditions exclusions we will help doctors to make health care decisions instead of insurance companies.
“I was born after Medicare and Medicaid were enacted, but I just cannot imagine America without these vital programs. I believe that in the years to come we will look back and wonder how we ever went without having health care for all.”
In Ohio’s 17th Congressional District, The House Committee on Energy and Commerce provided the following estimates:
· Improve Employer-Base Coverage for 355,000 Residents;
· Provide credits to help pay for coverage for up to 180,000 Households;
· Improve Medicare for 109,000 Beneficiaries, including Closing the Prescription Drug Donut Hole for 9,100 Seniors;
· Allow 14,000 Small Businesses to obtain affordable health care coverage and provide tax credits to help reduce health insurance costs for up to 12,300 small businesses;
· Provide coverage for 43,000 uninsured residents;
· Protect up to 1,700 families from bankruptcy due to unaffordable health care costs;
· Reduce the cost of uncompensated care hospitals and health care providers by $20 Million.