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Public Statements

In Opposition to the Rule Governing Debate on H.R. 2668, the Fairness for American Families Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to the Rule and the underlying legislation because this bill would delay the implementation of the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act until 2014.

This bill is about avoiding personal responsibility for persons who could afford health insurance but decide not to purchase it. When people arrive at emergency rooms without health care insurance, they are not turned away, but receive treatment. The cost of this care is often much higher than if a patient visits a doctor early to address health issues rather than wait and go to an emergency room for care. Persons with health insurance avoid going to the doctor out of fear of what it will cost that concern can be eliminated by getting health care insurance or coverage.

This bill is another attempt by the House Republican majority to frustrate the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Their effort to increase the burden on individuals who take personal responsibility and exercise choice in purchasing their own health care insurance should not encouraged by our actions. This bill will assure that those individuals who can pay for their health care insurance do so. If they do not purchase health insurance when they had the means to, then a fee will be assessed that they will be used to cover health care expenses.

Everyone must act responsibly in making the Affordable Health Care Act work and that includes every member of the Congress.

In my state:

27.6% of Texans are without health care coverage.

In my district over the weekend, I held a press conference to congratulate Community Health Centers in the City of House who received part of $9 million awarded to the State by the Department of Health and Human Services. The Grants to Community Health Centers will work to enroll the uninsured in new health coverage options made available under the Affordable Care Act--or Obama Care Act.

Community Health Care Centers will ensure that even the poorest of our citizens take personal responsibility to acquire health insurance coverage as long as we as members of Congress do our jobs and let our constituents know about these health care options.

Today, Community Health Centers care for over 22 million people nationally. The funding provided by these Department of Health and Human Services grants will mean that millions more will have access to health care and health insurance.

In 2012, 50 million people in the United States had no health insurance coverage, with many losing insurance as a result of the recent recession. The grants provided to Community Health Care Centers will help millions of uninsured people in our nation get the medical care they need and deserve. List of Community Health Centers Awarded Funds in the City of Houston

- Fourth Ward Clinic, $124,395;
- El Centro Del Corazon, $144,525;
- Houston Community Health Care, $90,691;
- South Central Houston Community, $165,755;
- Asian American Health Coalition of the Greater Houston Area, $90,867;
- Spring Branch Community Health Center, $108,346;
- Houston Area Community Services, $73,981;
- Legacy Community Health Services, $267,747;
- Health Care for the Homeless, $104,000;
- Harris County Hospital District, $154,326; Statistics on the 18th - Congressional District, Nation and State Affordable Care Act

Affordable Care Act Benefits to the 18th Congressional District:

- 11,400 young adults have insurance through their parents;
- 4,100 seniors received $5.4 million in discounts for prescription medication and average of $600 per person. This was a cost savings of $650 on average and so far in 2013 the savings are $1,040;
- 71,000 seniors are now eligible for Medicare prevention services without paying co-pays;
- 121,000 individuals, including 23,000 children and 50,000 women now have health insurance that prevent insurance companies from spending more than 20% of their premium dollars on profits and administrative overhead;
- 46,000 children with pre-existing illnesses can no longer be denied insurance;
- 153,000 people in my district have health insurance that have no lifetime limits on their coverage and will not face annual limits;
- Up to 193,000 people in the 18th Congressional District of Houston, Texas will have access to quality health affordable health care without fear of discrimination or higher rates because of preexisting health conditions;
- 17,000 individuals who purchase insurance on the private health insurance market established for individuals or small groups will have access to more secure, higher quality coverage and many will have access to financial assistance. National Benefit of Obama Care
- 13 million Americans received $1.1 billion in rebates from their health insurance companies last year;
- 105 million Americans have free preventive services;
- Millions of women now have free coverage for comprehensive women's preventive medical services;
- 100 million Americans no longer have a life-time limit on healthcare coverage;
- 17 million children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage by insurers;
- 6.6 million young-adults up to age 26 can stay on their parents' health insurance plans;
- 6.3 million Seniors in the ``donut hole'' have saved $6.1 billion on their prescription drugs;
- 3.2 million Seniors have access to free annual wellness visits under Medicare; and
- 360,000 Small Businesses are using the Health Care Tax Credit to help them provide health insurance to their workers. Statistics on Texas and the Affordable Care Act
- 3.8 million Texas residents receive preventative care services;
- 7 million Texans no longer have lifetime limits on their healthcare insurance;
- 300,731 young adults can remain on their parents' health insurance until age 26;
- 5 million Texas residents can receive a rebate check from their insurance company if it does not spend 80 percent of premium dollars on healthcare;
- 4,029 people with pre-existing conditions now have health insurance;

In 2014, Insurance companies will be banned from:
- discriminating against anyone with a preexisting condition;
- charging higher rates based on gender or health status;
- enforcing lifetime dollar limits;
- enforcing annual dollar limits on health benefits.

The healthcare law has many benefits.

For these reasons, I urge my Colleagues to join me in voting no on the rule for this bad bill.

The House and the Senate have real work to do such as creating jobs and strengthening food security for our most vulnerable--children, the elderly, the disabled and low-wage workers. We need to address immigration reform and Border Security, responsible gun safety measures, equity in our judicial system and voting rights.

We should also focus on the need to pass appropriations bills that eliminate Sequestration that is strangling the financial security of millions of federal workers. Sequestration not only hurts federal workers, but the local economies that no longer have the incomes provided by federal agencies to stimulate the recovery our nation is now entering are.

I urge the rejection of this rule.


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