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Public Statements

Affordable Health Care For America Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, D.C.


Mr. FILNER. Mr. Speaker, many Members of the House of Representatives have spoken at length on the ways that the Affordable Health Care for America Act will improve health care for all of our constituents. I wanted to draw attention to another significant benefit of this legislation: the creation of new high-paying jobs in this country. Let me repeat that for some of my friends on the other side of the aisle, this bill will create high-paying, high-quality jobs in healthcare delivery, technology and research in the United States.

First, this bill will create enormous demand for healthcare workers, especially in the area of primary care. Insuring the millions of Americans in this country who currently have no insurance will allow them to see primary care providers and receive the wellness and preventive care they have been denied for too long. This influx of new patients will need doctors, nurses and technicians for their care, while reducing overall healthcare costs because they will not need much more expensive hospitalizations. I support channeling resources that for too long have been used to treat people once they become sick into jobs and services that will prevent people from getting sick in the first place.

Second, this bill will continue the efforts we began in the stimulus package to deploy new health information technologies that better manage both the quality of care people receive and the cost at which they receive it. New health care exchanges and new demands on the health system to provide high-quality and cost-effective health care will create new opportunities and markets for our brightest technology minds. They will be incentivized to create and develop products that will be a win/win for Americans: high quality health care at an affordable price.

Third, this bill will create high quality research opportunities in this country. The Energy and Commerce Committee enacted a framework for allowing biosimilar competition in this country. This new class of medicines will help lower costs and bring competition to one area that is key to the future of our healthcare system. Biotechnology is on the cutting edge of efforts to reducing costly invasive procedures and allowing our constituents to live healthier and more productive lives. The creation of this new class of medicines comes with requirements for new clinical research and testing, especially in the area of whether a new biosimilar can be interchangeable with an innovator's product. This research will create high quality and high paying jobs and it is imperative that we keep this research and these jobs in this country. We cannot allow these research opportunities to leave this country, and I intend to work with the Secretary of HHS and the Commissioner of the FDA to ensure they stay in the United States.

Mr. Speaker, I do not look at this bill as one of cost or drain on the economy of our country like so many of its opponents on the other side of the aisle. I see this bill as an exciting opportunity to create the kind of jobs we so desperately need in this country while at the same time improving the lives of ALL Americans. This bill will improve health care, create jobs and grow our economy.


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