WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 DNC Chairman Tim Kaine issued the following statement after Majority Leader Harry Reid unveiled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act this afternoon at the U.S. Capitol. The Act would extend coverage to 31 million people, covering 94 percent of Americans. According to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, the plan would reduce the deficit by $127 billion over the next ten years.
"Today we took another historic step on the road to finally delivering health insurance reform to the American people. I want to congratulate Majority Leader Reid, Chairmen Baucus, Dodd and Harkin for their extraordinary leadership, and thank countless other Senators for their tireless work.
"The bill achieves the goals President Obama set out at the beginning of this debate. It provides increased security and stability for those who have insurance; more quality, affordable options for those who don't; and it reins in the high costs of care for American families, businesses and governments.
"Yesterday the Congressional Budget Office's analysis confirmed what President Obama and Congressional Democrats have been arguing for months: we can fix our broken health care system and dramatically extend access to care, without adding a dime to our national deficit. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would extend coverage to 31 million Americans, and reduce the deficit $127 billion by 2019 -- and by as much as $650 billion during the decade after that. The Act includes four key measures that a group of 20 leading health care economists praised just this week, including delivery system reforms and the establishment of an independent Medicare Commission.
"The Senate's bill, like the historic legislation the House of Representatives passed earlier this month, would also crack down on some of the insurance industry's worst practices - like denying coverage because of a pre-existing condition or canceling someone's coverage when they get sick.
"Teddy Roosevelt started a national conversation about the need to reform our health care system nearly 100 years ago. Now, we're closer than ever before. As we enter the final stretch, the Democratic National Committee will continue to generate support for reform and continue to hold accountable those who would rather stand with the insurance industry to protect the status quo. Inaction is not an option -- if we do nothing, costs will continue to skyrocket, coverage will continue to erode and millions more will lose their insurance. Democrats won't rest until we deliver health insurance reform to the American people."
SOURCE Democratic National Committee