WASHINGTON, March 22 Following the passage of health insurance reform legislation in the House of Representatives, Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tim Kaine released the following statement:
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080519/DNCLOGO )
"Today, President Obama and Congressional Democrats accomplished something that has eluded Presidents, Congress and the American people for decades. After a year of hard work, we have passed health insurance reform. We owe great thanks to the President, Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid and their leadership teams.
"Most importantly, what does this mean for our country? The American people -- not the insurance companies -- will now have control over their own health care. No longer will insurance companies be able to deny you coverage because of preexisting conditions or drop your coverage when you get sick and need it most. Parents will be able to keep children on their policies through the age 26. Reform will control costs and lower costs for middle class families who are struggling under the skyrocketing cost of health insurance. Families won't have to choose between paying their mortgages and paying their premiums. It will make it easier for small businesses to provide health insurance for their employees. And once these changes go into effect, an unprecedented 95% of Americans will have health insurance.
"And we'll do this while reducing the deficit by over a trillion dollars over the next twenty years. So this isn't just good news for the health of our people, it's also good news for the health of our economy. This is the largest deficit reduction package since President Clinton's 1993 budget, which set our country on a path to years of growth and helped create a budget surplus. This is fiscally responsible reform, and it's an important step towards getting our economy back on track for the short and long term.
"The passage of reform today is a monumental accomplishment. This historic legislation is further evidence of the change President Obama has been able to bring about. It is a symbol of what the Democratic Party stands for -- relief for middle class Americans, fighting unfair business practices, and helping people live happier, healthier lives. I want to congratulate President Obama and Congressional Democrats for this victory. But above all, I say to the American people - we have delivered on our promise to bring about health insurance reform that you have wanted for decades. Better and more affordable health care is coming."
SOURCE Democratic National Committee