On November 7, 2009, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, by a vote of 220 yeas to 215 nays.

After careful deliberation, I voted for H.R. 3962 because I felt it was the right thing to do.

While not perfect in every aspect, I realize that this is part of a longer process that will continue as the bill moves to conference committee for further changes.

Ultimately, I feel that the legislation will accomplish many of the key goals of healthcare reform while taking meaningful steps to manage the related costs.

H.R. 3962 will expand healthcare coverage to an additional 36 million uninsured people; prohibit insurance companies from denying health insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition; and providing for portability of healthcare coverage for those who have lost or changed their jobs.

Ensuring that all Americans have access to affordable and reliable health care is a noble goal and one that reflects the highest ideals of our nation. I believe this bill, while not perfect, adequately addresses many of the earlier concerns that I had. The passage of H.R. 3962 is not the final step in the legislative process. The Senate must now vote on their bill and then, if passed, the two bills will be reconciled for a final vote.

Congress has been debating health care reform now for several months. This has been, at times, an emotional and personal debate for us all and I took this decision very seriously. My offices in Boston, Brockton and Washington D.C. heard from thousands of constituents from the Ninth Congressional District. I weighed the concerns of my constituents with the merits of H.R. 3962 and I thank everyone who took the time to reach out to me. I appreciate and value your input and continue to welcome your views. While I know there are some who may disagree with certain parts of the bill, please know that I remain engaged in this process and I am deeply honored to represent the families of the 9th District of Massachusetts in the United States Congress.