Press Release ● Health Care
For Immediate Release: 
May 16, 2019
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today in support of H.R. 987, the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act. Below is a link to the video and excerpts from his remarks:

Click here to watch the full remarks.

“If you put patients before politics, you will vote for this bill. Because patients care about prescription drugs, but they also care about access to affordable, quality health care.”

“Mr. Speaker, last week, the House passed H.R. 986, a bill to protect coverage for those with pre-existing conditions… This week, House Democrats are continuing to strengthen access to affordable health care by passing H.R. 987, an additional package of bills aimed at strengthening our health care system and lowering prescription drug costs. Because patients just don’t worry about prescription drugs, they worry about their health coverage. As a matter of fact, it’s hard to separate the two.”

“This effort is critical because the Trump Administration – in its campaign and from its very first day – and Congressional Republicans have been working tirelessly to sabotage health care access and undermine the reforms of the Affordable Care Act.”

“Last year, 1.1 million Americans lost health coverage after years of gains in coverage. This shows us, dangerously, that the Trump Administration’s sabotage… is having its intended adverse effect. From limiting access to open enrollment to allowing junk plans… from repeal votes in Congress to anti-ACA lawsuits in the courts, Republicans have been trying to undermine the Affordable Care Act. From shortening enrollment periods to cutting funding for outreach… this sabotage is hurting access to affordable, quality health coverage in our country for the people. That’s what we’re here for – for the people and that’s what this legislation is for: for the people.”

“The legislation before the House today would push back on these efforts in several ways. First, we are banning junk plans that don’t provide adequate coverage and raise premiums for comprehensive health plans. Next, we are taking action to bring generic drugs to market more quickly, helping to lower the cost of prescription drugs… Finally, H.R. 987 increases funding for outreach, enrollment, and navigators to help Americans find the right health care plan. That’s for the people, to help the people understand and to access and to be secure in knowing they have adequate health care for them and their families. It also provides states with additional funding to establish state-based marketplaces.”

“Our legislation will provide insurers, providers, and patients alike with greater certainty that the Affordable Care Act will continue to make health care available and affordable to Americans with pre-existing conditions. I’m pleased that my Republican colleagues are supporting the prescription drug titles of this bill, and perhaps we'll send it over to the Senate. Maybe that's all they'll send back, but the fact of the matter is we have a broader responsibility than just prescription drugs."

“Democrats are committed to bringing health care costs down and making sure more Americans can access quality, affordable coverage. I want to thank Reps. Cicilline, Rush, Schrader, Castor, Kim, and Blunt Rochester for their leadership in introducing the components of this legislation, which will make the security for health care better for the people… And, of course, I want to thank my good friend, Chairman Pallone [of the Energy and Commerce Committee]. Nobody has worked harder for a longer period of time to enhance the health care of Americans. Nobody has worked harder in committee, both initially on the Affordable Care Act, of which he was a very significant part of the authorship, and since then in protecting it and trying to enhance it. This bill is important for us to pass to do just that.”

“That’s why I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join us in standing up for the Affordable Care Act and its benefits – not undermining the law and its reforms. Having agreement on prescription drug reforms, bringing prices down, and making generics more available is an important step, but it's not the only step that we need to take, and this is not the final step. This is a step. It's an important step. I hope that Republicans and Democrats would support this bill overwhelmingly, because, as I said, it is for the people."