|COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS MASSACHUSETTS SENATE STATE HOUSE, BOSTON 02133-1053|
|SENATOR DANIEL A. WOLFCAPE & ISLANDS DISTRICTSTATE HOUSE, ROOM 511bTEL. (617) 722-1570FAX (617) 722-1271________||COMMITTEES:LABOR & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT (CHAIR)MUNICIPALITIES & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT (VICE-CHAIR)ENVIRONMENT, NATURAL RESOURCES & AGRICULTUREHEALTH CARE FINANCINGPUBLIC SERVICETOURISM, ARTS & CULTUREVETERANS & FEDERAL AFFAIRSSPECIAL JOINT COMMITTEE ON RE-DISTRICTING|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:July 10, 2012 Seth Rolbein 508-367-6044 Senator and CEO Wolf testifies in DC: Massachusetts health care reform is working Saying he had come “to debunk myths, and dispel fear and misunderstanding about the 2006 health care reform act that Massachusetts enacted with strong bipartisan support,” Cape Air CEO and Cape & Islands Senator Dan Wolf (D-Harwich) today testified in Washington, urging lawmakers to support the national Affordable Care Act patterned on a Massachusetts model. Senator Wolf delivered his testimony to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, as well as answering questions from members of the committee. Cape Air, the regional airline Wolf started in 1989 with one plane and six employees, now employs nearly 1000 people with $105 million in revenues expected this year. The company remains headquartered in Massachusetts.
The state’s landmark health care reform act in no way inhibited Cape Air’s growth, Wolf reported. State-wide, he added, “unemployment in Massachusetts has dropped from 8 percent in 2009 to 5.8 percent in May of this year. This is 2.4 percent below the national average. And Massachusetts ranks 8th in the nation in job creation this year, adding 37,800 new jobs through May.”
This strong performance coincides with reforms that now provide health care access to more than 98 percent of Massachusetts residents.
Five witnesses testified today, four presented by the Republican majority on the committee, and one – Senator Wolf -- by the Democratic minority. This was the first round of committee hearings on the Affordable Care Act since it was sanctioned as the law of the land by the Supreme Court. Also submitting written testimony was Andrew Tarsy, President and Executive Director of the Alliance for Business Leadership."The current national system for health care, or lack thereof, is untenable and stands in the way of job creation, economic growth and competitiveness,” said Tarsy.“We need to move forward and implement the Affordable Care Act, and the business experience in Massachusetts only speaks in favor of that." “I’ve come to realize that one of the most important values we must embrace is that every American should have access to affordable, excellent health care,” Wolf added. “We have come a long way toward accomplishing that goal in Massachusetts, and we have done so without stunting business growth, and without cutting jobs.” After a lengthy question and answer session, Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), referencing Senator Wolf’s strong support for the Massachusetts reform and the template it provides for national reform, gaveled the hearing to a close by announcing, “I hope Senator Wolf is right.” Wolf’s submitted testimony is attached, as well as a photo of him in testimony. In addition, video and other testimony from the committee’s proceedings is available at http://oversight.house.gov/