Mariel Saez, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered remarks during the speaking program prior to President Obama’s remarks on the Affordable Care Act at Prince George’s Community College in Maryland. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Good morning. I’m so glad the President of the United States has come to Prince George’s Community College to talk about the Affordable Care Act. None of us ought to be surprised that when President Obama decided to talk about the successes in implementing health care reform, he came to Maryland.
“That’s because we are leading the nation when it comes to implementing the Affordable Care Act. Our state’s health insurance exchange, the Maryland Health Connection, will offer real choices.
“Starting this Tuesday, October 1st, you can visit www.marylandhealthconnection.com to compare over seventy plans from nine providers. Approximately 75% of Marylanders will qualify for $7.5 billion in tax credits to help purchase insurance through our state’s exchange. And on January 1st, small businesses can sign up for the small business health options program to purchase affordable, quality coverage for their workers.
“Regardless of whether you are covered through the exchange or through an employer plan, insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate against you if you have a pre-existing condition or impose lifetime limits on your coverage.
“Thanks to health care reform, 280,000 Marylanders who are now without insurance will be able to get covered next year. That’s why we worked so hard, together, to make health care reform a reality.
“I want to thank Governor Martin O’Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who have done an outstanding job of making sure Maryland leads the nation in expanding access to affordable health care.
“While the opening of the exchanges is an important milepost on the journey to provide greater access to affordable coverage, our work is far from over. We have much to do in order to ensure that the affordable care act works as intended – that it increases access to quality, affordable coverage, and puts families – not insurance companies – in charge of health care decisions.
“Thanks to President Obama, Democrats, and our hard-working state officials, folks in Prince George’s County and in every county of our state have many new options for affordable, quality care.
“And no matter what its opponents say or do, we’re going to fight to keep health care reform and make sure it continues to expand access to the health care all Americans deserve. Thank you.”