Senate Democrats

Senate Leadership, Dodd Harkin, Health Care Advocates Discuss The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act

Washington, DC– Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate HELP Committee Senior Member Chris Dodd, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin, Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer, Democratic Conference Secretary Patty Murray and Senate HELP Chairman Tom Harkin joined Loretta Johnson, a home health care worker from Virginia, and representatives from health care advocacy groups to discuss The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at a press conference this afternoon. This proposal, which was introduced yesterday, will ensure that all Americans have access to quality, stable, affordable health care. “Our health insurance reform proposal will save lives, save money and save Medicare,” said Senator Reid. “This bill is not just a milestone along a journey of a few months or a few years. We have been working to reform health care since the first half of the last century. Now that we are on the doorstep of delivering reform to the American people, I once again invite my Republican colleagues to join us on the right side of history.” “This bill protects Americans’ ability to get the care they need, when they need it, from the doctor they choose – and now they will be able to choose the insurance plan that’s right for their families, because our bill will create true choice and competition in the marketplace,” said Senator Dodd. “We’re going to make health insurance a buyer’s market. And I’m proud that there’s a strong public option to make that market stronger.” “We are closer today than ever before to passing healthcare reform and putting Americans back in control of their health care,” said Senator Durbin. “Right now insurance companies have complete control; they decide our premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and whether we can even have insurance. Finally we have a bill that puts patients first, reforms unfair insurance company practices, and gives doctors and patients back control.” “We have a wide variety of views in our caucus, but everyone agrees this is too important not to pass,” said Senator Schumer. “This bill will cut health care costs, preserve Medicare, and reduce the federal deficit to boot. History will look back on this bill as the moment we turned things around in America.” “Everyone knows that the problems in our health insurance system are not going to go away if we do nothing,” said Senator Murray. “Now we finally have the fiscally responsible plan that puts patients first and forces reforms on the insurance industry that families and small businesses need.” “With the CBO score now out, the benefits of the Senate health reform proposal are coming into focus,” said Chairman Harkin. “The bill expands coverage, provides needed insurance reforms and increases access to prevention and wellness so that we keep people healthy, rather than treating them after they become sick. All in all, it came in under target and it is paid for. It is a good deal for America.” “When my husband got sick fifteen years ago, I had to quit my job to take care of him,” said Ms. Johnson. “So, I lost our health insurance. After he passed away, I became a home healthcare worker. I’m at the bedside every day giving people the same type of care I gave my husband. But, I don’t have health insurance. The Senate’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act puts us one step closer to healthcare that works for every American.”