Washington (DC) Today, Congressman Al Green (TX-09) lauded the passage of H.R. 4872, the Reconciliation Act of 2010, in the House of Representatives by a vote of 219 to 212 and described it as “a historic and decisive legislative step towards health care reform in the United States.”
“It has taken our nation many years to finally complete this much needed reform of our health system. However, this is not a final step, but rather a good next step that in the years to come we’ll be proud we took,” said the Congressman, who indicated that millions of Americans who were uninsured will have medical coverage because of the reform.
According to Congressional Budget Office preliminary estimates, the bill would reduce the budget deficit by $138 billion over 10 years and by $1.3 trillion over the next 20 years. Additionally, the bill, which costs $940 billion, would be fully paid for over a decade. Congressman Al Green explained that, “Americans spend nearly $2.5 trillion each year on health care now and nearly two-thirds of the bill is paid for by reducing health care costs.”
“Our country now has the opportunity to make steady progress towards an emphasis on preventive care through an $11 billion investment in community health centers. Health care coverage will no longer be inaccessible due to pre-existing conditions. Many who die from lack of health care will now live,” said Congressman Al Green.
He also underscored why he thought the changes are important to Texas and Harris County. “Currently, there are 6 million people uninsured in my home state of Texas, and 1.4 million of them are children. As for the Houston area, the number of uninsured individuals is approximately 1.1 million. These are overwhelming figures that fortunately will begin to change for the better.”
By strengthening Medicare and closing the “donut hole” on prescription drug costs, the new legislation will benefit seniors. The Congressman also stressed that “the new system requires Medicare and insurance companies to provide important preventive services such as immunizations and screenings for diabetes, cancer, and osteoporosis free of charge.”
Congressman Al Green concluded, “I prayerfully await my colleagues in the Senate to pass this historic piece of legislation, to be signed into law by the President, for the benefit of the American people.”