Washington, DC — Senate HELP Committee Senior Member Chris Dodd, Senate HELP Committee Chair Tom Harkin, Senate Commerce Committee Chair Jay Rockefeller and Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow joined students and middle class families at a press conference this morning to discuss how a simple up-or-down vote on adjustments to health reform legislation will help middle class families and college students. Senate Democrats support improvements to the recently-enacted health reform law to provide tax relief for middle class families and make college more affordable.
“For middle-class families, this legislation means real economic security,” said Senator Dodd. “You’ll be able to count on health insurance that you can afford and that you can trust will be there for your when you need it. More low- and middle-income Connecticut families can send their kids to college without saddling them with a lifetime of crushing debt. And you’ll never again have to fear that an illness or injury will mean economic ruin.”
Senator Harkin said: “For Middle Class families, one of the biggest challenges comes when their children reach college age. The questions around the kitchen table are: How do we pay for college? And, in a couple years, our child will be too old to stay on the family’s health insurance plan; what are we going to do? The reconciliation bill addresses these challenges head-on. It allows adult children to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until age 26. And it increases the maximum Pell Grant for college students from $5,550 in 2010 to $5,975 by 2017. Starting in 2013, the grant will be indexed to the Consumer Price Index. Make no mistake, there is a lot at stake for America’s Middle Class families in this reconciliation bill – both in terms of health care security, and in terms of access to an affordable college education.”
“I, like my colleagues here today, have heard from families about the need for fundamental changes to our health care system in order to make peoples’ lives better,” said Senator Rockefeller. “This has been a tough process, there have been frustrations, and this was not easy, but I believe we have created a bill that will do right by West Virginia individuals and families. We are close to the finish line, and cannot be derailed by partisan speed bumps.”
Senator Stabenow said: “Middle-class families and small businesses have waited too long for affordable health insurance. Year after year, they have seen their premiums rise while insurance company profits skyrocket. Now we have taken action to give small businesses tax cuts to help them pay for their employees’ health care coverage. This bill will also save money for students and parents who are paying for college. Starting now, moms and dads, small business owners and students will all save money.”
Today, the Senate Democratic Communications Center is releasing a video that highlights benefits in the health care bill for one group of middle-class Americans, small business owners and their employees. The video can be found here: LINK