WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke at an event on the West Front Steps of the Capitol today to introduce the Affordable Health Care for America Act. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Today, we are one step further on a long, hard road—the road to bringing quality, affordable health care to every American. Health insurance reform will mean greater stability and lower costs for Americans, including affordability for the middle class and small businesses, and security for our seniors.
“Our country has been on this road, in one way or another, since the days of Teddy Roosevelt. But in this Congress, we are here to introduce a new health insurance reform bill thanks to the commitment to this cause shared by every Member of our caucus. For Americans struggling with the cost of health care, this is an urgently-needed bill. But befitting the importance of this legislation, the process of putting it together has been deliberative, transparent, and open—the most deliberative, transparent, and open process I have seen for any bill in my 29-year career.
“Democrats have held 100 hearings on health care since 2007. This year alone, we held close to 3,000 health care events in our districts. Three committees have spent 160 hours on hearings and markups of health care legislation. Much of the legislation that is being announced today has been available for review and comment for more than three months. And we will keep our commitment to the integrity of this process by making the bill's full text and manager’s amendment publically available for 72 hours before Members are asked to vote, and by ensuring a full floor debate.
“Health insurance reform has come through all of that scrutiny and debate stronger, because this is an idea whose time has truly come.”