Historic health care legislation passed by House Democrats
Last night House Democrats voted to send the President landmark legislation to reform our nation’s health care system. The bill will stop insurance company abuses, bring down the deficit, rein in health care costs for families and small businesses, create up to 4 million new private sector jobs over the next 10 years, strengthen Medicare, and expand quality health coverage to 32 million Americans who can not afford it now.
Immediately following the vote, President Obama called the Speaker and other Members of Congress to congratulate them for their success in passing the legislation to make affordable, quality health care available to all Americans. When calling the Speaker, the President told her “You’ve done what no other Speaker has done.”
Americans will benefit from the bill as soon as the President signs it into law:
- Small businesses that provide coverage to their employees will be eligible for a tax credit of up to 35% of premiums.
- Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition will be able to buy affordable coverage through a temporary high-risk pool.
- Insurers will be banned from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.
- Young adults will be able to remain on their parents’ insurance policy until their 26th birthday.
- Seniors will see lower prescription drug costs as our bill begins to close the “donut hole.”
- Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping people when they get sick and placing restrictive lifetime or annual limits on coverage.
- Seniors can now depend on better chronic care, improved coordination between doctors, and nearly a decade of extended solvency for the Medicare Trust Fund.
The reforms we’ve passed will strengthen our economy and make the health care system more fair for all Americans. Here are a few of the key long term impacts of the bill:
- The deficit will be cut by $148 billion over the first ten years, and $1.2 trillion over the next ten years (the largest deficit reductions in 17 years).
- Small businesses will receive $40 billion in tax credits to make it easier for them to provide coverage for their workers.
- Middle class families will get $400 billion in tax credits to lower their premiums.
- Health plans will no longer be allowed to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions like cancer, heart disease or diabetes.
- Small business will be able to buy coverage for their employees on exchanges, giving them the same purchasing leverage as large corporations and the government.
The Senate will now take up the House-passed improvements to the Senate bill, building on this reform to improve affordability for the middle class, eliminate special deals, and ensure that the prescription drug “donut hole” is fully closed to lower costs for seniors.
The goal of affordable health care for all Americans will soon become a reality. We thank everyone who put in the hard work to make this day come to fruition.