U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (W.Va.) today issued the following statement regarding the latest version of the healthcare reform bill, The Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962):
"Throughout all the healthcare discussion, including my five town hall meetings, the clearest message I have received from southern West Virginians is that healthcare and its insurance costs are out of control. Those who manage to pay for it, pay far more than they should, in part, because of those who can't afford it. In the last ten years alone, healthcare has shot up 131%, while incomes have only risen 38%. It's time we turn the tide."
"This week the House is planning to consider a new healthcare reform bill. It's not perfect. As a pro-life Member of Congress, I am working to strengthen the bill's prolife guarantees and we are making progress. Some of the bill improvements include requiring health plans to allow young people to remain on their parents' insurance policy up to their 27th birthday, and exempting 86% of businesses from the shared responsibility requirement. It will also reduce the Medicare donut hole by $500 and institutes a 50% discount for brand-name drugs in the donut hole and phases out the donut hole by 2019; and creates State Health Insurance Compacts that would permit states to enter into agreements to allow for the sale of insurance across state lines when the state legislatures agree."
"The stark reality is that many of us already have or will face a time in our lives when our health needs will outpace our means of insurance. People should not have to live with the fear that an illness could bankrupt their family, that the cost of their prescriptions could mean less food on the table, or the knowledge that they simply cannot afford medical care that could save their lives. This is about saving those who are dying every day because of a lack of health insurance."