Congresswoman Laura Richardson votes for Affordable Health Care in America Act
2009-11-11 · By Editor
Earlier this week, Congresswoman Laura Richardson voted to end the inequitable practices in access to health care that currently exists in this nation and to ensure that the tens of millions of Americans currently without health insurance have affordable access to it and that the quality of care for all Americans is improved. The historic Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962), which makes the most sweeping changes to the American health care system in last 40 years, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives by a 220-215 vote. The Senate is preparing to vote on a counterpart bill in coming days.
“After hundreds of hours of committee, caucus and debate, I joined the Congress today in supporting legislation that represents a major turning point for our country,” Congresswoman Richardson said. “Today the United States joins every other developed nation as we take a step forward in our very humanity and once and for all say that access to affordable and quality health insurance is not just a privilege anymore.”
In the 37th Congressional District, too many families are uninsured, too many families hit lifetime benefit caps and face financial crisis, too many people are losing their jobs and their healthcare at no fault of their own, too many are hurting, and too many are in pain. The Health Care Act is expected to provide health insurance to 98,000 people, more than one out of every seven district residents, who currently have no coverage. It will also aid small businesses in providing coverage to employees and improve Medicare coverage for seniors.
“In our area, where we have watched hospitals close or be forced to cut back because of the inability of patients to pay for emergency services, this bill will provide $228 million for uncompensated care for hospitals,” Congresswoman Richardson said. “For our seniors, Medicare will be strengthened and prescription drugs will be made more affordable. For small businesses, with more than 15,000 in our district alone, assistance in providing your employee’s health insurance is on the way. No more penalties for preexisting conditions, no more fear that if you lose your job you will lose your healthcare and no more differences in the care between men and women. Today, we not only leave a legacy, but we have made one for the Americans of this generation and the next.”
Earlier the same day, President Barack Obama spoke with members of the House urging them to support the bill. “Remember why you got into politics in the first place,” President Obama said. “Do we stop now or do we move forward? Will we push forward or pull back in fear? I am confident you will do the right thing, get this done and look back on it when I sign this in the Rose Garden that this was our finest hour.”