Press Release ● Human and Civil Rights
For Immediate Release: 
September 9, 2009
Contact Info: 
Katie Grant
Stephanie Lundberg
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement tonight after President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress on health reform:
“As President Obama made clear tonight, America cannot put up for much longer with the skyrocketing cost of health care that is hurting our families, our businesses and our country.

“Democrats have proposed building on the current system of employer-sponsored insurance. If Americans with insurance like their plans, they can keep them. But Americans with insurance will gain security and stability through coverage guaranteed even if they lose their jobs, a cap on out of pocket costs, and an end to denial of coverage against those with pre-existing conditions.

“Americans without insurance will have access to affordable coverage through an insurance exchange where plans will compete for their business.  And an exchange for small businesses will give them a level playing field with their bigger competitors and enable them to cover their employees.

“I agree with President Obama’s strong support for protecting and expanding Americans' choice of plans, while remaining open to various ways of ensuring that choice.  I also applaud President Obama for proposing that reform be paid for primarily with savings within the health care system, and for making clear that he will only sign a bill that does not add to the deficit and that brings down costs in the long-term, a pledge he has backed up with a provision to require more spending cuts if the savings don’t materialize.

“The distortions and scare tactics that have been a part of this debate have been a disservice to the American people. But the real needs of millions of our fellow citizens are far too serious for those games. The American people want bipartisan cooperation on this defining issue.  It has been evident, however, that Republicans have not been willing to move in that direction, preferring to undermine progress rather than facilitate agreement. I hope that they will change their minds, because fixing our broken health care system is far too important to every American to be used to gain political advantage.”