U.S. representatives from Mahoning Valley praise passage of historic bill



The Mahoning Valley’s two U.S. House members applauded passage of the $940 billion health-care reform bill Sunday night.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-17th, called Sunday “a landmark day in our country’s history.

“After decades of debate, Congress has passed comprehensive health care reform that will benefit all Americans — including a tax credit of up to 50 percent for small businesses who provide insurance to their workers, and a $5,800 tax credit for families with a $50,000 household salary.”

Ryan also said he took notice of the opposition.

“I respect the viewpoints of those who have criticized this bill, but I can say with confidence that my vote today reflects the sentiments of my district — after receiving much constituent input.”

According to Ryan, the impact of the bill will be large in the 17th District, which includes most of Mahoning and Trumbull counties. He says the bill will:

Improve coverage for 355,000 district residents with health insurance.

Give tax credits and other assistance to up to 180,000 families and 12,300 small businesses to help them afford coverage.

Improve Medicare for 109,000 beneficiaries, including closing the doughnut hole.

Extend coverage to 39,000 uninsured residents.

U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson, of St. Clairsville, D-6th, also praised the bill’s passage.

“Tonight marks the end of a very long journey,” Wilson said. “I voted for the Senate version of health care reform and for the reconciliation changes because together the bills are fiscally conservative, pro-life, good for my district and good for our economy.”

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