Senate Democrats

Democratic Senators Discuss How Health Reform Benefits The Middle Class

Washington, DC— Democratic Senators Ben Cardin, Amy Klobuchar, Kay Hagan, Ted Kaufman and Paul Kirk joined a small business owner for a press conference today to discuss how health insurance reform will provide stable, affordable coverage for the middle class. Under the current system, the cost of health care rises three times faster than wages and continues to eat away the paychecks of hardworking Americans. Reform will lower costs and ensure that middle class families will have the health care coverage that they need.
“The cost of health care has been eating away the paychecks of middle class Americans at an alarming rate. It’s unsustainable. You cannot raise a family or run a small business when an ever increasing share of your income is spent on health coverage,” said Cardin.  “Affordability and stability are at the heart of the health care reform being considered by the Senate. We cannot miss this opportunity to lower costs and expand quality coverage for all Americans.”

Klobuchar said: "Health care costs are continuing to rise and families are struggling to afford their health care premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.  The cost of inaction is too high.  Health reform will provide stable coverage that cannot be taken away, stable costs that won’t eat away at paychecks, and better care that keeps what works in health care and improves what doesn’t."  

“Under the Senate’s reform bill, middle class Americans will no longer have to fear that losing a job means losing health insurance too. The Senate bill will slow down the exploding cost of health care, which is growing increasingly unaffordable for middle class families and is eating into paychecks in North Carolina and across the country,” Hagan said. “In 1996, the average family premium was $6,000. Today it’s $12,000. On our currently trajectory, it’s expected to be $24,000 by 2016. We are working hard to pass this reform bill so people no longer have to fear sinking into bankruptcy as a result of one medical emergency.”

Kaufman said: "In Delaware and across the country, health insurance reform is essential for stable and affordable coverage for the middle class. If we do nothing, rising premiums in future years will force hard-working Americans to choose between health insurance and paying their home mortgage or children’s tuition. No American family should fear the denial of coverage based on a pre-existing condition or other technicality."

“It’s time for a change in the health insurance system in America. No family should be punished and penalized when they have saved and invested in health insurance.  No family should have coverage denied when sickness occurs. No family should be denied coverage or have caps on coverage just because they haven’t gotten well as soon as their insurance company expected,” Kirk said. “There’s injustice and inequity in this system. Health care reform will at long last bring security and stability to families in Massachusetts and nationwide.”