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Mr. Speaker, I am proud to support H.R. 4872, the Reconciliation Act of 2010 and the healthcare reform package that its passage will complete.
Today, the House of Representatives has been given the opportunity to take a concrete and powerful step toward completing the work of reforming our healthcare system that began decades ago. For much of the last year, my colleagues and I have debated many ways in which we could work to lower costs, improve the quality of care and expand coverage. What we pass today will begin to achieve all three.
In the wake of the financial crisis that has devastated our economy, concerns of our nation's deficit are well-placed and wholly appropriate. Despite what many of its opponents would argue, the passage of this healthcare reform package will reduce the national deficit by an estimated $1.3 trillion over the next 20 years according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Through the course of this debate, we have seen misinformation about healthcare reform instill fear into the hearts of the American people. We have seen the distortion of truth breed uncertainty about whether healthcare reform will be to the benefit of our country. Despite all of the debate, and at times confusion, there remains one incontrovertible truth: the cost of inaction, when our country spends nearly $2.5 trillion a year on healthcare, over 45 million Americans are without health insurance, and 45,000 people die every year due to lack of health insurance, is simply too great.
The time for debate has ended. The question we are faced with is quite simple: do we act to shift the course of this country towards affordable, quality healthcare, or do we continue down the path of unsustainable costs and squander this historic opportunity to bring about meaningful change in the lives of the American people?
I am proud to vote in favor of this giant step toward putting Americans in control of their health care and I look forward to this legislation being signed into law so that we may move forward with this much needed reform.
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