Senate Democrats

Reid Remarks On Expansion Of Affordable Health Care To Millions Of Americans

“Across the country, in states like Kentucky that have opened their own exchanges, Americans are signing up for quality, affordable insurance plans, often for the first time in years.” 

“The national rollout of the ObamaCare Website was rocky to say the least. The problems with the site must and will be fixed. But we should not lose sight of important victories happening in living rooms and libraries and community centers across the country.”

“Democrats know that healthcare.gov is not perfect. I know that ObamaCare is not perfect. But ObamaCare is more than a Website. And whenever Republicans are willing to stop complaining and start working to improve the law, Democrats are ready and willing to work with them.” 

Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid spoke on the Senate floor today regarding the benefits of Obamacare.  Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

Kimberly Cates is no stranger to the struggles that come with living without health insurance in America. She works at a health clinic that treats uninsured Kentuckians, but can’t even afford to provide its employees with health insurance. Over the last few years, Mrs. Cates has racked up $15,000 in medical bills and recently filed for bankruptcy.

But last week, after a month of considering her options, Mrs. Cates signed up for health insurance for the first time in years. Her plan will cost $17 a month, and every hospital near her home town will accept her new insurance. This is the difference ObamaCare is making.

And Mrs. Cates is only one example of the success of Kentucky’s new health insurance exchange, created under the Affordable Care Act. More than 1,000 Kentucky residents have signed up for affordable health insurance every single day since the exchange opened, according to the Huffington Post, which reported Mrs. Cates’s story.

Across the country, in states like Kentucky that have opened their own exchanges, Americans are signing up for quality, affordable insurance plans, often for the first time in years.

The national rollout of the ObamaCare Website was rocky to say the least. The problems with the site must and will be fixed. But we should not lose sight of important victories happening in living rooms and libraries and community centers across the country – victories like the one Mrs. Cates celebrated last week.

ObamaCare is more than a Website. For tens of millions of Americans who have been living without insurance ObamaCare is a lifeline. But rather than working with Democrats to fix the problems with this landmark law, Republicans in Washington are busy complaining about it instead.

Meanwhile, Republican governors in states like Nevada, Ohio, New Jersey and Michigan are helping more residents of their states access health care by expanding Medicaid coverage. One Nevada woman contacted my office to say that she’s counting down the days until January 2014, when her new health insurance plan takes effect and she can finally go to the doctor. In the past, she was denied insurance because of a preexisting condition. But now she qualifies for a plan she can afford under Nevada’s Medicaid expansion.

Thanks to ObamaCare, Americans like her can no longer be denied insurance because they are a cancer survivor, live with diabetes or had acne when they were a teenager. That’s one of the many benefits of this new law.

Under ObamaCare, insurance companies will no longer be allowed to cancel your policy when you get sick, charge you more because you’re a woman or set an arbitrary limit on the care you receive. In Nevada alone, tens of thousands of seniors have saved tens of millions of dollars on medicine because the Affordable Care Act closed the gap in prescription drug coverage. More than 3 million young people – including 33,000 young Nevadans – have stayed on their parents’ health plans. And, hundreds of thousands of businesses that already offer their employees health insurance are getting tax credits for doing the right thing.

A new study shows 17 million Americans will also qualify for tax credits to purchase coverage. And many more are now eligible for Medicaid. Unfortunately, five million people living in states that did not expand Medicare eligibility will be left out in the cold. It’s shameful that Americans who simply want access to lifesaving medical care will be denied insurance for political reasons.

Democrats know that healthcare.gov is not perfect. I know that ObamaCare is not perfect. But ObamaCare is more than a Website. And whenever Republicans are willing to stop complaining and start working to improve the law, Democrats are ready and willing to work with them.

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