Congressman John T. Salazar, having reviewed the Congressional Budget Office analysis and final reconciliation amendments, released the following statement today on his intentions to support the health care legislation that is headed for a likely vote this weekend:
"For years, I have been deeply involved with our nation's health care debate. During that time, I have visited with many of my constituents who have shared with me their views on health care.
"Many of them believe we need significant health care reform and I strongly agree.
"The bill that's expected to come up for a vote will be one of the largest deficit reduction bills in the history of Congress, it will provide significant insurance reform, and it will expand coverage to 32 million Americans. For these reasons, I will support the bill.
"This bill will provide affordability for all Americans, security to our seniors and responsibility to our children by reducing the deficit by $138 billion over the next 10 years, and over $1.2 trillion the following 10 years.
"When President Obama signs this bill it will immediately end discrimination for pre-existing medical conditions, it will prevent people from being dropped from coverage if they become sick, it will eliminate co-pays for preventive care, it will place yearly caps on what someone pays, and it will eliminate waste, fraud and overpayments to private insurance companies.
"In my district, and in all of Rural America, finding a doctor who will take Medicare patients is becoming harder and harder. This bill will give all primary doctors in rural America a 10 percent increase in reimbursement to take Medicare patients.
"Under this bill, any American who has insurance will be able to keep their doctor and their plan. Any American who doesn't have insurance will be able to get insurance. For seniors, the bill strengthens Medicare by improving benefits in both the short and long term, making Medicare sustainable for years to come.
"Unfortunately, the health care reform debate has been the subject of gross distortion and mischaracterization. We've all heard statements like, "this bill establishes death panels" or, "this is a government takeover of healthcare." Statements like these are untrue and it's unfortunate that opponents have chosen to advance lies about reform.
"Much has been made of the insurance Members of Congress receive. And it's true, we do have good insurance because we're able to purchase it on an exchange -- exactly what this bill will do for millions of Americans.
"Rising health care costs are stifling business growth, threatening the long term solvency of Medicare, and bankrupting American families. Failure to address these issues will cripple our economic stability for decades. This is important. Millions of Americans will now benefit from combined purchasing power on the exchange just like Members of Congress and federal employees.
"The House of Representatives is set to pass landmark health care reform legislation so that all Americans can have access to quality, affordable medical care and I will support it."