Washington, D.C. – Last night, the House passed historic health care reform legislation that will extend health care coverage to millions of Americans, end insurance industry abuses, help contain costs for millions of families and small businesses, and cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the national debt. Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement on the House action:
“This bill is a long stride forward in the battle for affordable, accessible health care.
“The bill does three critical things: it ends insurance practices that victimize our families; it creates state insurance policy markets that increase choice and competition; and it invests in our health care workforce to counter the rapid retirement of baby boom practitioners.
“Now that this bill is becoming law, we have one more task. This week, the Senate will take up a separate House bill that makes several improvements. It will make health reform better for seniors by closing the Medicare donut hole. It will make health reform better for working families who have high health care expenses by lowering their taxes. And it will improve health care reform by eliminating the special deals for certain states.
“I thank those in the House – especially Representatives Blumenauer, DeFazio, Schrader, and Wu – who stood with American families and small businesses last night to pass and improve health care reform. It is now up to the Senate to send these improvements to President Obama’s desk and I look forward to standing with my colleagues to make that happen.”