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Friday, November 6, 2009

Congressman-elect Bill Owens Announces Support for House Healthcare Legislation

Plattsburgh, NY – Congressman-elect Bill Owens today announced his support for H.R. 3962, the "Affordable Healthcare for America Act." The bill will provide affordable, quality healthcare for all Americans and reduce the growth in healthcare spending.
"This legislation will reform the insurance industry and provide increased access to affordable healthcare without taxing healthcare benefits, cutting Medicare benefits or raising taxes on the middle class, and that is exactly the direction we need to go," said Owens. "There are still changes I would like to make, including raising the payroll exemption for small businesses, but like I said last week, there is a fundamental need for reform and we must act with a sense of urgency. This plan will reign in costs, strengthen the middle class and protect our economy from additional debt down the road.”
In addition, Owens showed concern for provisions that would prevent paper producers from receiving a tax credit for the production of certain wood by-products. "Forestry and the paper-products industry are incredibly important to our community, and I will be looking for way to ensure that they are not unduly burdened in any healthcare legislation," Owens said.
During his campaign for Congress, Owens showed consistent support for legislation that would end pre-existing condition exclusions, reign in spending, protect small businesses and keep middle-class taxes low.
H.R. 3962 would end the ability of insurance companies to deny care based on pre-existing conditions, and would reduce the federal deficit by $104 billion over the next decade. The bill also includes an exemption for small businesses with a payroll of less than $500,000. Congressman-elect Owens has stated his desire to see this exemption raised to include a greater percentage of operations considered small businesses. In addition, the bill is paid for without taxing healthcare benefits or raising middle class income-taxes.
This legislation is endorsed by AARP and the American Medical Association, among other organizations.