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Congressman Capuano's
An update from the office of U.S. Representative Michael E. Capuano
8th Congressional District of Massachusetts
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November 9, 2009

Health Care

On Saturday, 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:





















Credit Card Protections

On Wednesday, the House considered H.R. 3639: Expedited CARD Reform for Consumers Act of 2009, which I told you about two weeks ago when it passed the Financial Services Committee. This bill adjusts the effective dates contained in the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which was signed into law in May to ensure that customers would have protection against abusive practices used by credit card companies. Since the original bill passed and became law, some companies have been driving up interest rates and lowering credit limits in advance of the February and August deadlines it contained. H.R. 3639 makes the original provisions effective on the date of enactment, meaning that companies will have to comply immediately with the law. This is a much-needed action from Congress as many consumers are struggling to pay their bills and stay afloat.

I voted YES. H.R. 3639 passed in the House and the entire vote is recorded below:





















House Administration Committee

Also on Wednesday, the House Administration Committee, on which I serve, held a markup to consider various pieces of legislation. Included on the Committeeís agenda was H.R. 3489, which would prohibit challenges of a voterís eligibility to cast a ballot in a jurisdiction based solely on that voterís presence on a foreclosure list. In the 2008 election, state parties in Ohio and Michigan attempted to block voters whose houses had been foreclosed on. This is unlawful for a number of reasons. It is entirely possible that a voter could be renting a foreclosed home through no fault of his or her own, or that a voter is engaged in foreclosure proceedings but still resides in that location. The bill would also protect those displaced by a natural disaster from being challenged at the polls. The foreclosure epidemic we have seen as a result of the economic downturn should not penalize voters or be used as a context for disenfranchisement. I am a cosponsor of this legislation and was proud to vote in favor of it when it passed the Committee.

What's Up Next

This week the House is in a district work period. Next votes are expected the week of November 16th.

Congressman Mike Capuano
8th District, Massachusetts
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee on Financial Services
Committee on House Administration

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Roxbury Community College, Campus Library, Room 211

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