Representative G. K. Butterfield

Representing the 1st District of North Carolina

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Statement in Support of Achieving Immediate Health Insurance Reforms

Mar 17, 2010
Press Release

Congressman G. K. Butterfield released the following statement in support of achieving immediate health insurance reforms:
 
While there has been immense debate over health insurance reform, there is general agreement that there is a great and immediate need for change. People need to understand that as important as this is to people without coverage, this is every bit as important for people who already have health insurance.
 
The legislation being discussed will make health care affordable for the middle class, provide security for seniors and guarantee access to health insurance for the uninsured – while reducing the federal deficit by over $100 billion over the next decade.
 
There are four central ways in which these reforms will provide more stability and security for every American.
 
First, the reforms will reduce the federal deficits and finally bring skyrocketing health care costs under control. This means real savings for families, businesses and our government. Without cutting services, they eliminate billions of dollars in waste and inefficiency in Medicare and Medicaid and in unwarranted insurance company subsidies.
 
Second, making Medicare more efficient ensures that more tax dollars go directly to caring for seniors instead of lining pockets at insurance companies. These reforms will provide today’s seniors with the benefits they’ve been promised and ensure the long-term health and stability of Medicare for tomorrow’s seniors. And, the reforms will also reduce seniors’ prescription drug costs.
 
Third, the reforms provide every American with basic consumer protections that finally hold insurance companies accountable. Under the current system, millions of Americans with coverage struggle against insurance companies that refuse to pay because of pre-existing illnesses or conditions.
 
Finally, all Americans will have the peace of mind knowing that they have a choice and access to high-quality, affordable health care.
 
Voting to approve these reforms will bring a needed end to a long, deliberative and purposeful process. 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.
 
If people take the time to read and understand this legislation, it will be clear that there is no government takeover of health care. Every American would continue to choose their own doctor and health insurance plan— and make health care decisions with that doctor. In fact, the legislation builds on the current system of private health insurance. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), private insurance coverage would expand by 16 million under the House reform bill.
 
In approving these reforms, Congress will 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. Rising health care costs are crushing families and businesses, forcing small business owners to choose between health care and jobs.
 
If we fail to control health care costs, families will continue to be increasingly burdened with higher premiums; businesses will be forced to drop coverage or lay off workers; and, our national and state budgets will be fiscally unsustainable.