12.24.09

Whitehouse Statement on Senate Passage of Health Care Bill

Washington, D.C. - "After nearly a year of debate and discussion, the U.S. Senate today passed landmark legislation to reform our broken health care system: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

"This historic legislation will make health insurance available to more than 30 million Americans now without coverage, lower costs for individuals who already have coverage and for small businesses, improve the quality of our care, and lower our nation's long term budget deficit. And for Rhode Island seniors who face devastating prescription drug costs, I'm proud to report that Majority Leader Harry Reid has committed to close the Medicare Part D ‘donut hole' before this bill is signed by President Obama. Health care costs for Rhode Island families doubled in the past 10 years and would double again by 2016, so this reform could not come soon enough.

"In this holiday season, so many Rhode Islanders are struggling in our tough economy: the self-employed mom coming home at night praying her children don't get sick; the minimum wage earner whose employer can't afford health coverage; the unemployed worker who lost so much more than a paycheck when the economy took its plunge. I've heard from so many of these Rhode Islanders in the last year, and my holiday prayer is that, with passage of this bill, help will soon be on the way."

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