Following multiple days of trying to persuade conservative Democrats to support the Democratic Leadership's health reform bill, House Leaders today succeeded in passage of H.R. 3962, legislation that will radically reform the Nation's health care delivery system. The vote was 220 to 215, with Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX) joining 175 Republicans in opposing the bill along with 39 concerned Democrats who also opposed it.
"This bill passed the House despite the concerns of millions of Americans who voiced their views in town hall meetings across the country and in letters, phone calls, emails, and faxes to their Representatives in Congress," Hall said. "My position has always been to represent the views of my constituents -- and they have been solidly against this government takeover of health care."
In a speech to the U.S. House of Representatives on Saturday, November 7, 2009, Hall pointed out that "This bill is a generation killer, and the targets are your grandchildren and mine. My fourth district in Texas is 100-1 against this bill and I believe my district is a good composite of other districts around this county."
Hall closed his speech with reminding all members, "Remember who sent you here and vote their wishes. The American people have memories that will survive the actions of today's vote."
Hall agrees with his constituents that health reform is needed, but that the best solution is not in the form of H.R. 3962. "We desperately need common-sense reforms that rein in health care costs and make quality health care available and affordable for our citizens," Hall said.
The Republican substitute amendment, which Hall supported, would reduce the deficit by $68 billion over 10 years and would reduce health insurance premiums for small businesses, individuals, and employer coverage. Some of the main provisions of the Republican bill include allowing states to establish interstate compacts, medical liability reform, fraud prevention, increasing federal funding for high-risk pools, and improving Health Savings Accounts. The motion failed to pass by a vote of 176 to 258.
"H.R. 3962 is the largest reform of health care since the introduction of Medicare, and it will impact every American citizen and business," Hall said. "As this moves forward to a House-Senate Conference, I will continue to be an advocate for my constituents and represent their interests in this process."