Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by a vote of 219-212. The bill passed by the Senate in December by a vote of 60-39. Sunday evening, the House of Representatives also passed the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010 with a majority vote of 220-211.
“A majority in Congress has now taken decisive steps to guarantee affordable, quality health coverage for all Americans. The rising cost of health care has been draining family budgets and our national treasury for years, making today’s vote to control health care costs and protect Americans from the abusive practices of health insurance companies one of the most important actions we could take to support our middle-class families, seniors, and small businesses.
“Preserving the status quo was never an option. Thanks to the health care reform measures we have passed, Marylanders like Eric and Cynthia from Silver Spring will no longer need to purchase two different health insurance policies with two high-cost deductibles just to cover their family of four. Meg from Rockhall and others across the country will no longer be blocked from purchasing quality health coverage based on pre-existing conditions. More than 120,000 small business owners will get immediate tax credits to help them pay for affordable, quality health coverage for their employees. Medicare will be protected for our seniors and the prescription drug ‘donut hole’ will finally be filled.
“Patients come first in this bill and I look forward to the upcoming debate and majority vote in the Senate to finalize important improvements to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which establishes a strong framework for universal, affordable quality care for every American while reducing our federal deficit. The changes agreed to by the House, and to be voted on this week by the Senate, will further increase competition and ensure Marylanders and all Americans will no longer be burdened by uncontrollable and unpredictable increases in health care costs.”