MESSAGE FROM CONGRESSMAN STENY H. HOYER

Congressman Hoyer and House lawmakers introduce the Affordable Health Care for America Act.
This week, I joined my colleagues in the House to introduce new health insurance reform legislation - the Affordable Health Care for America Act – to ensure greater stability and lower costs for all Americans, including affordability for the middle class, security for our seniors and significant new protections for all health care consumers.

For Marylanders struggling with the cost of health care, this is an urgently-needed bill. The reforms will give everyone – whether you have health insurance or not - the peace of mind of affordable, quality health care you can count on and that can't ever be denied.

Top Ways Health Insurance Reform Works for You

·         ENDS INSURANCE COMPANY DISCRIMINATION—No more denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes and an end to rate hikes or dropped coverage for those who get sick.
·         MAKES COVERAGE MORE AFFORDABLE—The House bill will rein in rising health costs for American families and small businesses—introducing competition that will drive premiums down, capping out-of-pocket spending, ensuring no more copays for preventive care, no yearly caps on what the insurance company will cover, and providing premium subsidies for those who need them. For small businesses, tax credits will help them cover their workers and eliminating health status rating means they won’t pay higher premiums based on their employees’ health status.
·         IMPROVES CHOICE AND COMPETITION—In most states, one insurance company controls nearly half the market. To increase competition, the House bill provides those who must buy their own insurance the choice between private plans and a public health insurance plan. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that this public health insurance plan would save taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.
·         ENSURES QUALITY COVERAGE FOR 96% OF AMERICANS—Estimates show the House bill will result in health care coverage for 96% of Americans. This will lead to significantly reducing the current cost of providing uncompensated care for 46 million Americans, and result in lower costs for everyone and savings to the economy.
·         IMPROVES OUR FOCUS ON WELLNESS AND PREVENTION—The House bill will work to shift the focus from treating sickness to promoting wellness with several provisions such as eliminating out?of?pocket costs for recommended preventive services, strengthening community-based wellness services, and rewarding primary care.
·         IMPROVES QUALITY—The House bill ensures that it is doctors and patients—not insurance companies—making health care decisions. More family doctors and nurses will enter the workforce—helping guarantee access. It moves us toward a system rewarding the quality of care—for instance through accountable care organizations and medical homes.
·         STRENGTHENS MEDICARE—The House bill improves Medicare: extending Medicare’s financial solvency by 5 years; improving coordination of care and reducing errors for seniors with conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes; eliminating the prescription drug “donut hole” coverage gap over a period of years; and providing free preventive care and wellness check-ups.
·         CUTS DOWN ON FRAUD, WASTE AND ABUSE—The House bill will strengthen oversight and enforcement measures to cut down on fraud, waste and abuse in the health care system, which is estimated to cost more than $60 billion every year.
·         LOWERS COSTS OVER THE LONG TERM—The House bill rewards care that prevents hospital readmissions, promotes doctors working together to coordinate your care better, cuts waste and fraud, invests in prevention and wellness, strengthens primary care, and reforms reimbursement to provide incentives for the quality, not the volume, of services.

Read more on how the bill works for seniors, small businesses, women and young people.

As always, thank you for allowing me to share this update with you. If there is anything you wish to share with me or bring to my attention, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

With warmest regards, I am

Sincerely yours,

Steny H. Hoyer

NEWS UPDATE

Hoyer, House Members Introduce Affordable Health Care for America Act
On Thursday, Congressman Hoyer joined his colleagues in the House to introduce new health insurance reform legislation that will make health care more affordable for the middle class, expand coverage choices for small businesses, and provide significant protections for all health care consumers.

Read news release
Watch video of Rep. Hoyer’s statement
USA Today: House Democrats unveil health care bill

Hoyer Applauds Passage of Legislation to Help Small Businesses Access Credit, Create Jobs
Congressman Hoyer praised House passage of H.R. 3854, the Small Business Financing and Investment Act of 2009, a measure that will take substantial steps to improve lending and access to credit for small businesses. 
Read news release

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Congressman Hoyer released the following statement on Thursday after the announcement that GDP rose 3.5% in the third quarter of 2009. Read statement

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