Today, Congressman Joe Donnelly announced his support for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, H.R. 3590, and the Reconciliation Act of 2010, H.R. 4872, which together are a compromise between the House and Senate on reforming health insurance in our country. Rep. Donnelly released the following statement regarding his vote:
"From the beginning of this debate, I've remained consistent in fighting for the principles I believe should be a part of health insurance reform. We need to prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage to folks who suffer from serious illnesses and we need to extend the life of Medicare. We need to lower the costs of health insurance that are squeezing families and small businesses and we must allow people to keep the insurance they have--if that's what they want to do. We need to ensure that any reforms prohibit the use of federal funds for abortion-related services and do not add to the national debt. The House bill, the America's Affordable Health Choices Act, which I voted for in November, did all of these things. The legislation in front of the House today, in tandem with the executive order that will be signed by the president today, also meets the principles I've talked about since the beginning of this debate.
I expressed opposition to the Senate bill over the past few months because it did not meet my standard for prohibiting the use of federal funds for abortion-related services. Unfortunately, the Senate has refused to pass language I helped pass through the House last year to maintain traditional prohibitions against federal funding for abortions. Today, the president will sign an executive order that increases the protections in this bill to make sure that the Hyde Amendment, our current law, is upheld throughout the entire health insurance reform bill. The executive order will ensure that no tax credits or cost-sharing reduction payments will be used for abortion-related services in the insurance exchange and ensures that federal community health center funding is subject to the Hyde Amendment. As a pro-life congressman, I will continue to act according to my deeply-held beliefs and those of my constituents. I believe that means opposition to abortion as well as improving access to health care for all people.
I will be supporting health insurance reform today because we need to level the playing field between Hoosier families and insurance companies. Back home in Indiana, some of our friends and neighbors have been hit recently with skyrocketing premium increases as high as 51 percent. Currently, insurance companies deny coverage to cancer survivors, folks with diabetes, and children with epilepsy. Right now, insurance companies cap the amount of money they will spend on a person's health care benefits, leaving many families to face bankruptcy as a result of catastrophic illness. The legislation I will vote for today would put an end to these practices.
It would also improve the health care system in this country by making coverage more affordable for those with insurance and by extending coverage to 32 million Americans who are currently uninsured. Starting today, children with preexisting conditions like epilepsy or juvenile diabetes would no longer be denied coverage. Seniors would experience immediate savings in name-brand drugs as we close the Medicare "donut hole" in prescription drug coverage. Out-of-pocket health care costs would be capped so no more families face bankruptcy because of health care costs. For the first time, someone who lost their job through no fault of his or her own would be able to get insurance for their family.
Perhaps equally important in these challenging economic times is getting our fiscal house in order, and the bill I will support today does just that. This bill helps our fiscal future because it would not add to the national debt. In fact, it would reduce our deficit $138 billion over the next 10 years and $1.2 trillion over the next 20 years."
The House is expected to vote on health insurance reform later today.