Statement of Senator Feinstein on U.S. Senate Passage of Landmark Health Care Reform Bill
- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is fiscally responsible, incremental, expands coverage and protects consumers -
Dec 24 2009
Washington, D.C. – Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) offered the following statement today after the U.S. Senate passed the Patient and Affordable Care Act:
“I voted in support of this bill because I believe it remains our best chance at reforming our broken health care system. With this bill, health care transitions from a privilege to a right for all Americans.
We tried in 1993 and 1994, and failed. More than 15 years have passed since our last effort. This may be our last, best opportunity before we are forced to wait another 15 years for real reform. And our country cannot afford to wait any longer. Our nation’s health care system is unsustainable.
This bill is not perfect. There are provisions in it that I would like to change. It is a work in progress, and I will continue to push for necessary improvements to lessen any fiscal impact to California.
However, this bill accomplishes several important objectives:
- It is incremental. There will be time to make needed adjustments before it is fully effective.
- The bill expands insurance coverage and provides new consumer protections from insurance company abuses.
- It is fiscally responsible. This bill will reduce the deficit and prolong the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund.
- It covers 31 million Americans who have no coverage today.
This legislation leaves the best of our health care system in place. It prohibits insurance companies from denying care based on pre-existing conditions. And it offers tax credits to small businesses to help cover the costs of health insurance policies for their employees.
To lack health insurance is not just an inconvenience, it also can be deadly. Expanding health coverage is a moral issue which I believe reflects the character of our nation. In the richest country in the world, no one should die because they cannot afford health coverage. For all of the bill’s imperfections, I am convinced that it will mean the difference between life and death for some people. And it is not every day that we can say that about a piece of legislation.”