WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined House Democratic Leadership for a press conference today on health care reform. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“We’ve heard a lot of wild claims about health insurance reform from our Republican colleagues.
“We’ve heard that reform would represent a ‘government takeover of health care’—when the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office tells us that our reform plan will actually increase the number of Americans with access to employer-sponsored private insurance.
“We’ve heard that a public insurance option would push private insurers out of the marketplace—when the nonpartisan CBO tells us that the public option will cover about 3% of Americans over the next ten years. At the same time, it will keep private insurers honest and competitive on cost.
“We’ve heard that reform will mean fewer choices for Americans—but that gets it entirely backwards. Under the status quo, patients find that they are shut out of coverage because of what for-profit insurers call pre-existing conditions; they find that their health decisions are made to enhance profits, not their health. Under the Democratic plan, doctors and patients will be free to make the health decisions that make the most sense, not the most profits. And workers will no longer be held back from changing jobs or starting a business because they can’t find health coverage.
“Republicans are making ridiculous claims about reform because they know that the status quo is indefensible. Luckily, Americans know that, too—and that’s why reform is going to happen.”