The House has just approved the Senate bill 219-212 (roll call), but as we wait for the House to act on the Reconciliation Bill, we will start to post (excerpts of) official reactions as they come in. Feel free to share your own reaction and responses. I understand President Obama will make a short statement later tonight and I have embedded the player after the jump, or you can go to White House Live.
Rush Holt put out a statement:
“For me, the debate about health insurance reform always has been about the families who struggle to secure the coverage they need. It’s about the small business owners who face rising premiums. It’s about the seniors who can’t pay for their prescription drugs,” Holt said. “In supporting reform of our broken health insurance system, I stand with the families, seniors, and small businesses who I represent and who will soon have greater control over their health care.”
“Health care reform has been a long time coming – almost 100 years in the making. Yet, as soon as the President signs this into law, benefits will be felt immediately,” Holt said. “Small businesses will be able to receive tax credits to purchase insurance, insurance companies will be banned from dropping coverage when someone gets sick, and seniors confronting the ‘donut hole’ will receive $250 to pay for prescription drugs.”
“The history of failed attempts at health care reform reaches back decades,” said Pallone. “But more important than the historical achievement is what the reformed system will do for everyday Americans. We aren’t just making history, we are making a better health care system.”
“Our health care system is in crisis, millions of Americans are going without insurance, and rising health care costs are bankrupting many American families, said Pallone. “The reform bill will stop insurance company abuses, lower health care costs and give almost all Americans quality health care coverage, the same as members of congress.”
“From the beginning, we approached this historic legislation with one simple truth in mind: good, affordable health insurance should be a right, not a privilege for the wealthy. The health of American families should never be viewed simply as a commodity used to maximize profits. Yet, millions of families struggle every single day with health insurance that is unaffordable, unreliable or unavailable. Today, we have accomplished insurance reforms sought for generations that will protect the health and economic security of our families and our nation in three main categories.
President Obama’s remarks to the nation:
Good evening, everybody. Tonight, after nearly 100 years of talk and frustration, after decades of trying, and a year of sustained effort and debate, the United States Congress finally declared that America’s workers and America’s families and America’s small businesses deserve the security of knowing that here, in this country, neither illness nor accident should endanger the dreams they’ve worked a lifetime to achieve. (continued in full, in Comments)
Ed Potosnak (Congressional Candidate NJ-7):
“Last night’s House vote on health insurance reform represents a major and historic step toward making sure all Americans have equal access to health care. I am pleased with what this deficit-reducing legislation does for the 7th District of New Jersey, including keeping health care costs under control for our families and providing expanded benefits for seniors on Medicare.”
Potosnak cited a recent report issued by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which indicated that in the 7th District alone, the legislation would improve Medicare for 96,000 beneficiaries, close the “donut hole”, guarantee health insurance coverage for 5,900 residents with pre-existing conditions, and help small businesses afford coverage for employees.
Pointing to the bill’s ability to reduce the federal deficit by over $143 billion over the next 10 years, Potosnak said:
“I am disappointed to see that Leonard Lance has continued to side with the Republican leadership and insurance companies. Sixty percent of Rep. Lance’s campaign contributions come from special interests like big banks and the insurance industry, and today we have seen yet another reason why a career politician like Leonard Lance is not providing the leadership the 7th District needs.”