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November 7, 2009

U.S. House Approves Health Care Reform Bill

Washington, DC –The U.S. House of Representatives today passed H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, by a vote of 220-215.  U.S. Representative Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) applauded the legislation.  The following is Velázquez’s statement:

For too long, millions of Americans have suffered without access to the medical treatment they need.  Right now, too many Americans worry about how they will find health care coverage if they lose their job. On this day alone, 14,000 Americans will lose their coverage.  And millions of our citizens, including one in three Hispanics, lack health insurance coverage. 

“With this bill, all of that will change.  No longer will insurance companies abandon Americans when they most need help.   This legislation will end the practice of denying Americans coverage because of preexisting conditions.  36 million uninsured Americans will finally have coverage.   Choice, competition and transparency will be brought to the insurance market, meaning better care and lower costs. 

“With health insurance premiums in our City climbing at astonishing rates, this reform could not come soon enough.  In April 2009, the average monthly cost for family health coverage topped $4,350, putting insurance out of reach for many New Yorkers.  H.R. 3962 will make insurance more affordable with credits that help low-income residents pay for coverage and by improving Medicare for our seniors.

“These problems have plagued our City and our nation for too long.  It is time, at long last, to enact comprehensive health care reform.  Today’s vote brings us one step closer to achieving a health care system that works for all Americans.”