skip to main contentskip to popular page linksskip to main navigation links
Office Hours Program Social Security Calculator Translate this page into another language
photo of Mike Capuano Michael E. Capuano representing the 7th district of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives Go to the House of Representatives homepage
Visit Mike's video channel on YouTube Like Mike on Facebook

 

 Mike's Schedule Voting Record District Maps Register To Vote FAQ Site Map e-Updates

Congressman Capuano's
E-UPDATE
An update from the office of U.S. Representative Michael E. Capuano
8th Congressional District of Massachusetts
Thanks for subscribing to this periodic correspondence. We hope you find the information useful. As always, let us know your questions, comments or concerns. Our contact information is provided at the end of this e-mail.

April 5, 2010

Health Care

Dear Friends,

Since the passing of the historic health care bill, I have continued to receive feedback from constituents while I have been home for a district work period. As always, I appreciate hearing from you. Some people have wondered why I seemed reluctant to embrace whatever proposal the Administration put forth. I would like to offer regular readers of our e-update additional insight into my thinking leading up to the health care vote.

Let me begin with what I know you already recognize — I have always fully supported expanding health care coverage to all Americans. There are many ways to achieve that goal and each are worthy of consideration. There are challenges, however, associated with the various approaches and it is my responsibility as a Member of Congress to make sure we do not unintentionally harm what we already enjoy in Massachusetts. In this case, that means maintaining our excellent health care system as well as the hundreds of thousands of jobs associated with it in Massachusetts.

Over the last two weeks of this debate, it became clear that the reform proposal would fall short of true universal access to health care; millions of Americans would be left out of our solution. But the perfect can never be the enemy of the good and most people understand and accept this reality. Many acknowledged that this bill was imperfect and fell short of our goals. However, many of us, including myself, concluded that in its broad outline this bill would be good for our country.

That was the relatively easy part for me as debate really got underway. The harder part of my decision came AFTER I accepted the general aspects of the health care bill. First, let me remind everyone that the language of the reconciliation package was made available only 72 hours before the final vote. Certainly, we had a broad understanding of what might be included, but details matter in this process and no thoughtful person should commit their support or opposition before they review the specific language of such an important proposal.

During debate on national issues, it's important to remember that each and every Member of Congress represents a defined geographic area. We all know that our actions affect the world and the country as a whole, but we are elected to represent the people of one area. In the House, we each represent about 650,000 people. I represent the people who live in Cambridge , Chelsea, Somerville and about 70% of Boston. I cannot imagine ever knowingly voting against their interests.

As you know, the 8th Congressional District includes or abuts every major teaching hospital in Greater Boston, more than 15 Community Health Centers and hundreds of health care related businesses. A reasonable estimate indicates that at least 150,000 people work directly for a health-care related business in the 8th Congressional District. That number does not include the many more who work for research entities associated with hospitals, the construction workers who maintain and expand hospitals, the people who clean the hospital laundry off-site or the people who supply the hospital cafeterias. Nor does it include the professors and researchers who come here from around the world because of the opportunities our district offers to unite theoretical and practical work. Nor does it include the hundreds of thousands of people who work in the health care system across the Commonwealth — from Pittsfield to Provincetown.

Clearly, health care is more than a social issue in my district and across the Commonwealth; it is a very important economic issue both directly and indirectly. Few people would ask me to support a bill that was both short of our goals AND would undermine our regional economy.

For these reasons, as you know, I spent the two weeks prior to the vote ensuring that Massachusetts' interests were protected. I remain happy to report that success and more...

  • The final bill provides Massachusetts with $2.15 billion to ensure we are not inadvertently punished for expanding health coverage before other states did. This is almost $2 billion MORE than the Senate bill provided and $850 million more than the House bill. This money will be used to protect and improve our regional health care, expand research, and both save and create jobs in Massachusetts.
  • The final bill does NOT alter the Geographic Variation aspect of current Medicare law. This protects billions of dollars per year for our research hospitals. This victory was secured after many hours of internal debate, and by resisting a very aggressive push from those states that would have benefited greatly by our loss. If we had lost this issue, Massachusetts could have lost thousands of jobs very quickly and our health care system would have been harmed irreparably.
  • The final bill protects our Area Wage Index that will bring Massachusetts about $300 million per year from the federal government — funds we do not currently receive.
  • The final bill reduces the cut in Disproportionate Share Hospital payments AND retains language beneficial to Massachusetts. These provisions should protect millions of dollars paid to our hospitals that service our most vulnerable citizens — like Boston Medical Center and the Cambridge Health Alliance.

Each of these issues was the subject of multiple, serious internal debates and lengthy, private meetings during the weeks prior to the final vote. I personally participated in most of those meetings, some that lasted past midnight. There was no way I was committing my vote until these issues were settled. I would ask you — could you have supported this bill if Massachusetts lost $4 billion? How many jobs in Greater Boston would you be willing to give up for the “greater good?"

I am proud that the Massachusetts delegation did not have to make this painful choice. The greater good was served AND Massachusetts jobs were protected. In fact, the health care sector of the Greater Boston economy will be enhanced and strengthened because of what we did in the two weeks prior to the vote on this bill.

I hope this behind-the-scenes review helps you understand what I was doing during the last weeks of the debate and why. We will also post a few of the comments we received from various groups on our website for your review.

Regards,


Congressman Mike Capuano
8th District, Massachusetts
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee on Financial Services
Committee on House Administration

P.S. I welcome your feedback on our e-Updates. Please let me and my staff know what you think of this service by e-mailing our office.


District Offices:

110 First Street, Cambridge, MA 02141
and
Roxbury Community College, Campus Library, Room 211

District Office Phone:

(617) 621-6208

DC Office:

1414 Longworth Building, Washington, DC 20515

DC Office Phone:

(202) 225-5111

Website and e-mail:

www.house.gov/capuano

You have received this e-mail because you subscribed to Rep. Capuano's E-Mail Updates authorizing Rep. Capuano to send your inbox periodic e-mail updates from his Congressional office.

UNSUBSCRIBE: if you would like to unsubscribe from this newsletter, you may do so at this address: http://www.house.gov/capuano/e-updates/unsubscribe.shtml.

PRIVACY POLICY: Your e-mail address will not be shared with anyone else or sold in any way. To read the complete privacy policy, visit: http://www.house.gov/capuano/privacypolicy.shtml.

E-Updates are sent from an unattended mailbox. Please do not reply directly to this e-mail. Instead, if you wish to e-mail us, please go to http://www.house.gov/capuano/contact/.
 


8,321 subscribers

 

 

 

NEWS & MULTIMEDIA

 

Privacy Policy

To protect your privacy, subscriptions to Rep. Capuano's E-Updates are subject to our Privacy Policy.

 

Bill Search

Use the THOMAS search engine to search bills from the 113th Congress.

 

i.e "hres 142"

 

i.e "health care"

 

Newspapers

 

News Services

Here are some informative online news services to help you find reports from Boston and the region, as well as national and international news stories.

 

Home | About | Biography | Contact | Issues | Links | News | Schedules | Services

E-Updates | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Accessibility

110 First Street
Cambridge, MA 02141
P: (617) 621-6208
F: (617) 621-8628
Hours

Roxbury Community College
Campus Library
Room 211
Boston
Hours

Stetson Hall
Room 124
6 South Main Street
Randolph
Hours

  Constituent Services Click to close menu
  Casework and Constituent Assistance
  Citizenship/Naturalization Information
  Immigration Casework
  Ordering Flags Flown Over The Capitol
  Presidential Greetings
  Tours
  U.S. Service Academy Nominations
  Internship Programs
  Washington, D.C. Attractions
  Grants and Federal Domestic Assistance
  FAQs
  News and Multimedia Center Click to close menu
  e-Updates
  Recent Votes
  Press Items
  Video and Audio
  Photo Gallery
  Legislative Issues Click to close menu
  Mike on the Issues
  Recent Votes
  Mike's Voting Record
  Scorecards for Mike's Votes in Congress
  Legislation Sponsored by Mike
  Earmark Requests
  Committees and Caucuses
  Ethics Task Force
  Congressional Schedules Click to close menu
  Mike's Schedule
  House Floor Summary
  Weekly House Schedule
  Annual House Calendar
  Weekly Senate Schedule
  About The 7th District Click to close menu
  Maps
  Cities
  Demographics
  The 7th District Over the Years
  Nobel Prize Winners
  Interesting facts about Massachusetts
  Massachusetts Links
  Links Click to close menu
  Massachusetts Links
    State Government
    About the 7th District
    Arts, Culture and Attractions
    Chambers of Commerce
    Colleges and Universities
    Exploring Massachusetts
    Hospitals and Health Organizations
    Newspapers
    Sports

  Federal Government Links
    USA.gov - Official Government Portal
    Legislative Branch
    Executive Branch
    Judicial Branch
    Federal Agencies
    Kids' Pages
    Register to Vote
    Washington, D.C. Attractions
    Business Opportunities with the Government

  Links For Students
 
  Contact Mike Click to close menu
  District Office
  Washington, D.C. Office
  Office Hours Program
  Community Meetings
  E-mail Mike's Office