Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) released the following statement today, after H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, was introduced in the House of Representatives:
"Today marks a historic moment for our nation. President Roosevelt fought to establish Social Security in 1935. President Johnson fought to establish Medicare in 1965. Today, we stand with President Obama to fight for quality, affordable health care for all."
"The American people know that when it comes to health insurance, the status quo is unacceptable. We have 47 million people who lack even the most basic coverage, including 217,000 in my own Congressional District. And for those lucky enough to have insurance, their premiums have more than doubled over the last ten years. We must take decisive action to fix this humanitarian and economic crisis."
"With the introduction of the Affordable Health Care for America Act, Congress is taking a step forward in our work to provide affordable health care for all Americans. This legislation ends denial of coverage for preexisting conditions, fixes the "donut hole" and protects Medicare for our seniors, lowers costs, protects coverage and choice for those currently insured, and provides coverage to 96% of all Americans. In addition, the bill reduces our nation's deficit, and will help to slow down the out-of-control growth of health care spending."
"I am pleased the legislation creates new, state-run Health Insurance Exchanges that will include a much needed public option. This public option will operate on a level playing field, and provide long overdue competition to the current insurance monopolies."
"The legislation also includes other necessary reforms to the health insurance industry, including provisions to prevent price gauging on insurance premiums, an extension of COBRA benefits, yearly caps on out-of-pocket medical expenditures, provisions to allow children to stay on their parents' health plan until they reach age 27, and an end to co-pays for routine checkups and preventative care."
"Congress has passed the Equal Pay Act to end discriminatory pay against women. With this legislation we will end the discriminatory tactics of insurance companies that have prevented too many people from receiving the care they need.
"I am proud to serve the 43rd Congressional District in this time of historic change. It is an honor to soon cast a vote for legislation that will improve the quality of life for so many Americans, and make the United States a better place for our future generations. Everyone deserves access to affordable, quality health care. With the leadership of President Obama and the Congress, we can and will create a health care system that works for all Americans."