NEAL FOR CONGRESS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 27, 2012
CONTACT: Matt Fenlon 413-624-6325
Will Keep Working Until Universal Care is Achieved
(SPRINGFIELD) In advance of tomorrow's Supreme Court decision on President Obama's Affordable Care Act, Congressman Richard E. Neal released the following as he pledged to continue fighting for affordable and accessible health care for all Americans.
“As a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, I worked closely with President Obama as he drafted the landmark Affordable Care Act, and I can tell you we were on the right path toward universal care for all Americans. Children should not be denied health care because they were born with Diabetes; working families should not face bankruptcy because of medical bills; young adults should not be denied a safety net; women's preventative health measures should not be sacrificed; seniors should not decide between buying medicine or putting food on the table.
“Regardless of the Supreme Court decision, I am committed to providing health care to tens of millions of hard working families, small businesses, young adults, senior citizens, people with disabilities, and preventative care for women.
“Hard working Americans pay an average of $1000 extra per year in their health plans because of 'uncompensated care.' As any hospital official cross the First Congressional District will tell you- from Harrington Hospital in Southbridge, to Baystate Hospital in Springfield, to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield- 'uncompensated care' is when a patient visits an emergency room, receives first-class treatment and then fails to pay the bill. Because we live in a society where no one is refused care in an emergency room, the result is those of us with health plans foot the bill.
“In order to achieve universal health care everyone needs to buy-in; this is why my fellow Democratic leaders and I, along with President Obama, included the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act. In fact, we must all remember the individual mandate was a Republican idea that was supported by the Heritage Foundation.
“As Democrats, we fought for the historic Affordable Care Act and I am proud to say I spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives in favor of expanding health care coverage. I challenge my Republican colleagues to stop the empty rhetoric and offer their own plan. I look forward to a spirited debate and I pledge my continued efforts until every American has health insurance."