On Saturday, November 7, 2009, the House considered its long-awaited health care reform bill. I voted in favor of H.R. 3962: the Affordable Health Care for America Act. I am proud to have done so because this measure represents a fundamentally important step in the right direction.
There are many provisions of the Affordable Health Care for America Act which represent significant improvements in our approach to health care. Most importantly for me, this bill does contain a robust public option, a provision I have been fighting for throughout the debate over how to reform our health care system.
This legislation will reduce the Medicare Part D donut hole, prohibit health insurance companies from placing lifetime caps on coverage, eliminate co-payments for preventive services for Medicare recipients, increase funding for Community Health Centers, provide new investments in primary care provider training programs, and require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate drug prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, this bill will reduce the federal deficit by $30 billion over the first ten years. It is a fiscally responsible and fundamentally sound measure.
This bill is a milestone in creating accessibility to healthcare for all Americans and moving healthcare from a privilege not available to everyone, to a right we may all claim. I look forward to its final passage, and I will fight to keep the robust public option intact.
I voted YES. H.R. 3962 passed in the House and the entire vote is recorded below:
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