This evening, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08) proudly voted in favor of the final passage of H.R. 3962, the "Affordable Health Care for America Act." The bill passed by a vote of 220-215. Pascrell, as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, and its Health Subcommittee, worked to help craft the bill during the past several months.
On the House floor this afternoon, Rep. Pascrell gave the following statement in support of the bill:
"Madam Speaker, today is when we must ask ourselves the real reason we came to Congress -- was it to fulfill the hopes of the people or to take the path of least resistance?
The easy thing would be to say the problem is too big, the interests are too aligned -- and then maintain the status quo. The hard thing is to bring everybody together, make the compromises that need to be made, and give the American people true health reform that will carry our country through for generations.
This is the same choice that was laid before the Members of the 89th Congress when they voted on the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. And where would we be today as a nation had those Members simply succumbed to the difficulty of making real change?
What we are seeking to do here today may be the most difficult vote we will ever take. The bravest decisions are often maligned -- but the American people sent us here to make the difficult choices, to take a stand for their interests above all else.
Let us not leave another generation to wonder what could have been. Let's pass historic legislation that provides the promise of affordable, quality health care for every American today and the generations to come."