Monday, November 9, 2009

Health Care Bill Passes House - Now for the Senate

As you may or may not know I am in support of change to improve health care in this country. I am also in support of the democratic plan, which I read Republicans are in favor of 80% of it as well. To the people who state that we can't afford to change, who must have completely employer paid insurance and I wonder how many people in the country have that anymore probably 2%. Just as one example - A friend of mine has a small business employer who had to stop paying the constant increases in health care premiums and had to take more and more out of his check. He now can barely afford to live and can't afford his presciption deductibles every month. We do need change. I wrote to Congressman Paul Hodes to thank him for his support of the bill and received this response. I thought I would post it so all could read what he wrote. I think the part about the money is very important for naysayers to read!

November 9, 2009

Dear My Favorite Constituent, (Ok I changed that up! The rest I did not...)

Thank you for contacting me about H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act.

I was proud to vote for the Affordable Health Care for America Act. After reviewing and reading the full text of the bill, I determined that the plan will help to provide affordable health care to working New Hampshire families and will put new rules on insurance companies to protect people's health care when they need it most. The bill will not increase the deficit. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that it will reduce the deficit by 100 billion dollars. In addition, the bill preserves and strengthens Medicare for senior citizens, lowers costs for seniors, and avoids any increase in taxes on working families.

The legislation includes strict rules on health insurance companies to protect working families and to keep families' costs in check when people get sick. The bill ends discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions so insurance companies cannot discriminate and deny coverage. The bill ends lifetime caps on coverage, so that when Americans gets sick, they can get the care that they have paid for. The legislation also prohibits insurance companies from dropping coverage for Americans when they get sick.

The Affordable Health Care for America Act creates a public health insurance option to compete with health insurance companies. This competition can help to lower costs for New Hampshire families.

This legislation will strengthen employer-based health insurance and lower the crippling health insurance costs for small businesses. This legislation will allow an estimated 18,800 small businesses in New Hampshire's Second District to get affordable health insurance and provide an estimated 16,900 small businesses in the Second District with tax credits for providing coverage - a proposal that I introduced to help our small businesses.

The Affordable Health Care for America Act strengthens Medicare, lowers costs for seniors, and adds years to the Medicare Trust fund so that Medicare can continue to be there for seniors. The bill closes the "donut hole" for seniors' prescription drugs, a gap in coverage which can cost seniors thousands of dollars. It also eliminates cost-sharing for primary care services and gives seniors' doctors incentives to coordinate care. The bill also prevents a 21 percent pay cut for physicians who treat Medicare patients, which helps to ensure that Medicare patients can continue to see the doctor of their choice.

The Affordable Health Care Act passed the House of Representatives on November 7, 2009. The Senate will also consider this proposal. I will continue to work to provide affordable health care for New Hampshire families and to create competition and fair rules on insurance companies.


Paul Hodes
Member of Congress

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