Butterfield Applauds Health Insurance Reform Benefits

Mar 18, 2010
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman G. K. Butterfield announced that the compromise health insurance reform bill would provide enormous benefits to the people eastern North Carolina.
 
“These reforms will put Americans and small businesses back in charge of their health care choices,” Butterfield said. “They make coverage more affordable for everyone and hold insurance companies accountable, stopping the worst practices like denying you coverage because of a pre-existing condition, dropping coverage when you get sick or arbitrarily hiking up your premiums.”
 
The House today released a compromise bill aimed at reforming the health insurance market. The 153-page Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010 contains elements of both the previous House and Senate, and is expected to be voted on as soon as this weekend.
 
“When it comes to health care, decisions should never be made by the government or insurance companies – they must be made by patients and their doctors,” Butterfield said. “And that’s exactly what this bill does – it puts people back in charge of their own personal health care decisions.”
 
Among the specific benefits for North Carolina’s First Congressional District:

  • 295,000 residents with health insurance will see improvements with their current coverage.
  • 11,600 residents who can’t buy health insurance now because of pre-existing condition will be able to obtain coverage.
  • Up to 193,000 families would get tax cuts aimed at helping to make health insurance more affordable.
  • Up to 11,600 small businesses would get tax credits to help make health insurance more affordable.
  • 115,000 Medicare beneficiaries will see better care and will pay less for prescription drugs because the Medicare Part D donut hole will be closed.
  • 51,000 young people will be able to say on their parents’ health insurance policies until their 26th birthday.
  • 60,500 uninsured will have access to health care coverage.
  • 900 families won’t have to file for bankruptcy due to unaffordable health care costs.
  • 42 community health centers will receive millions of dollars in new funding to see thousands of new patients.

Butterfield said he expects the bill to win approval and end to a long, deliberative and purposeful process. He pointed out that over the past several years, the House has held about 100 hearings on the issue; House members have met with constituents at more than 3,000 health care events across the country; and, three House committees spent more than 160 hours on hearings and markups of the legislation.
 
In approving these reforms, Butterfield said Congress would be “supporting the millions of Americans who quietly struggle every day with a system that works better for the health insurance companies than it does for them.”
 
“The American people cannot afford to wait any longer,” Butterfield said. “Rising health care costs are crushing families and businesses, forcing small business owners to choose between health care and jobs.”
 
Butterfield also noted that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office determined that the bill would the federal deficit by $138 billion in the first ten years – 2010 to 2019 – and that cuts the deficit by $1.2 trillion in the second ten years.
 
The figures cites were based on an analysis by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce using information and data from the U.S. Census, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration and the Congressional Budget Office.
 
More information about the benefits for North Carolina’s First Congressional District are available at www.butterfield.house.gov. The full text of the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act can be found at http://housedocs.house.gov/rules/hr4872/111_hr4872_amndsub.pdf.