Ted Kaufman - United States Senator for Delaware

Kaufman Statement on Senate Passage of Healthcare Reform

“A critical and monumental step towards ensuring the long-term well-being of our nation and citizens”

December 24, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) released the following statement this morning after the Senate voted, 60 to 39, to pass comprehensive healthcare reform:

“When we started this process in the spring, I outlined a series of goals that I wanted to see in the final legislation: controlling health care costs, reducing the deficit, curbing the worst abuses of the insurance industry and increasing the number of Americans with insurance. I believe the bill I voted for accomplishes these objectives.

“The Congressional Budget Office estimates that premium rates will be lowered for many Americans and that the bill will reduce the deficit by $132 billion over the next ten years and approximately $1.3 trillion the next two decades.

“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will also provide consumer protections that will benefit Delawareans and all Americans. Right away, insurers will no longer be able to deny coverage for children with pre-existing conditions; this protection will be extended to Americans of all ages by 2014. In addition, insurers will no longer be able to drop people from coverage once they get sick and actually need their insurance.

“Thirty-one million more Americans will have insurance coverage, which will not only provide health security for those who fear a sudden illness or accident, but it also helps erase the $1,100 tax all of us with insurance currently pay each year to cover care for the uninsured. And our system will be better protected, as my anti-fraud amendment will give prosecutors the tools they need to reduce fraud that costs us up to ten percent of healthcare spending each year.

“The list of benefits, both immediate and long-term, is lengthy and can be found on my website, http://kaufman.senate.gov. But it is best described by the groups who have endorsed this bill – the people in the trenches, every day, providing care to our loved ones and fighting to reduce healthcare costs. The American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association and the American Hospital Association all support this bill. Patient advocacy organizations like the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association have endorsed it. And the AARP says this reform will strengthen Medicare and make life better for its over 40 million members.

“Today’s vote was historic. I’ve been around this institution for nearly four decades, and this is as significant as any legislation I’ve seen in that time. We took a critical and monumental step towards ensuring the long-term well-being of our nation and citizens. I have said since the beginning that we could not afford inaction. Our dire situation demanded bold leadership, and today I am proud to be part of the answer.”

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