Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today in opposition to H.Res. 413, House Republicans' 46th attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act. Below are his remarks and a link to the video:
Click here to watch the video.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this bill, which will undermine the providing of health care at affordable prices for millions and millions and millions of Americans.
“We said to those Americans that, prior to the adoption of this Act, if they had a policy they could keep it. That was accurate. Now, it didn't say that the insurance companies would have to continue to offer it, which as I understand it, that side of the aisle wouldn't be for in any event. But, the fact of the matter is, that statement was correct.
“Now, subsequent to that, there were policies offered, and insurance companies knew and policy holders should have known, because it was in the law, that they would be subject to minimum requirements. Why? Because, as the Heritage Foundation said when it originally came up with this idea, everybody ought to take personal responsibility.
“I've heard a lot of talk on your side of the aisle, Mr. Speaker, about personal responsibility. I believe in that. The [Congressman Fred] Upton bill, as everybody knows, will skew the risk pool and encourage adverse selection. Anybody who knows anything about insurance knows that if you have adverse selection, the prices for those who need insurance will go up very substantially while, yes, the prices for those who don't need insurance will go down very sharply. And very frankly, if all of us knew we would never be in an automobile accident, we wouldn't have to have automobile insurance. Except, of course, the law in almost every state requires us to have it so that others will be protected as well.
“Now, ladies and gentlemen, this bill is no secret. This bill is offered by people who, according to their own rhetoric, want to repeal the Affordable Care Act. That's a fair position. But now they are trying to do so with a Trojan horse they call the Upton bill, that, in effect, will fix what people are concerned about – [but] the fact of the matter is it will not fix that problem… What it will do is undermine the ability of millions and millions and millions of people to have health security.
“I would urge my colleagues to defeat this Trojan horse. I would urge my colleagues to say to the American people: look, we are prepared to work together. The President has offered a compromise, which will have the effect of not opening up the policies to everybody but to those people that had a policy. That is a reasonable step to take. That is a step that, perhaps, we can talk together and get accomplished. But let's reject this bill, and let's stand with the millions of people who want affordable, quality health care for themselves and their families, and, Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.”