The following are excerpts from statements issued today by various trade groups and individuals regarding the Senate’s passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
AMA: Senate Bill Passage Historic, More Work to Do in Conference
The following statement is attributable to J. James Rohack, M.D., President, American Medical Association:
“Today, the Senate took an historic vote to improve our nation’s health care system by expanding coverage to millions of Americans and strengthening the private insurance market to better serve the patients who rely on it. The AMA supported passage of the bill because it contains a number of key improvements for our health care system, which currently is not working for far too many patients or the physicians who dedicate their lives to patient care.
“Separate action is needed early next year to permanently repeal the current Medicare physician payment formula to preserve access to care for America’s seniors, baby boomers and military families by creating a stable physician payment system. We commend Senators Reid and Baucus for keeping the focus on a permanent solution to this problem, and we will continue to work closely with them to fix the flawed Medicare physician payment formula once and for all early in the new year.”
AARP Thanks Senate for Passing Health Care Reform
AARP CEO A. Barry Rand released this statement after this morning’s passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
“The bill passed by the Senate makes needed progress to prevent coverage denials due to health status and limit insurance companies from charging older Americans much more for coverage because of their age. It also begins to close the dangerous gap in Medicare drug coverage known as the doughnut hole, and Senate leaders have committed that a final bill will close the gap entirely by 2019, in keeping with the President’s pledge. In addition, the Senate bill adds important new Medicare benefits, like free preventive care, and encourages states to provide more home and community-based long-term care services and supports instead of costlier institutional care.
“AARP thanks the Senate for advancing this critical legislation. We look forward to working with members of both chambers during the conference committee to improve this legislation and enact a final package that is even stronger so that America’s health care system finally meets the needs of our members and all older Americans.”
AHIP Statement on Passage of Senate Health Care Reform Legislation
Karen Ignagni, President and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), released the following statement today on passage of Senate health care reform legislation:
“Providing all Americans with health care coverage is crucial for the country. Health plans support legislative changes that would provide guaranteed access to all Americans, with no pre-existing condition limitations and no health-status-based premiums. These reforms are essential to giving all Americans greater peace of mind and health security.
“At the same time, specific provisions in this legislation will increase, rather than decrease, health care costs; reduce coverage options; and disrupt existing coverage for families, seniors and small businesses – particularly between now and when the legislation is fully implemented in 2014.
FRC Statement on the Christmas Eve Passage of the Health Care ‘Reform’ Bill
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made the following comments:
“Today’s Christmas Eve vote may signal the end of the debate in the Senate, but it’s far from the end of the debate at large. Since Senator Reid’s bad bill is substantially different from the House’s bad bill, the lower chamber will have to vote on the plan again. The Senate bill’s massive funding for elective abortions and the construction of abortion facilities are among the most radical differences. On Monday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted in an interview that the Senate health care bill will force ‘everybody’ in the exchange to pay an abortion premium. The so-called Nelson ‘compromise’ ensures that everyone will pay for abortion–no matter how the funds are divided up.
Pelosi Statement on Senate Passage of Health Insurance Reform Bill
Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement this morning on the Senate voting 60 to 39 to pass historic health insurance reform legislation:
“Today’s vote in the United States Senate brings us closer to providing quality, affordable health insurance to every American. I commend Senator Reid for his strong leadership in passing this bill, which takes a critical step on behalf of the health and security of all Americans.
“We are proud of the House bill, which provides more affordable coverage for the middle class, covers 36 million currently uninsured Americans, begins health insurance reform in 2013, fully closes the prescription drug donut hole for seniors, mandates strong reforms of the insurance industry, and is fiscally responsible, cutting the deficit by $138 billion over 10 years.
“As we move forward through the legislative process, we will soon produce a final bill that is founded on the core principles of health insurance reform: affordability for the middle class, security for our seniors, responsibility to our children by reducing the deficit, and accountability for the insurance industry.
PhRMA Statement on Senate Health Care Reform Bill
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Senior Vice President Ken Johnson released the following statement about the Senate health care reform bill:
“We applaud the Senate for taking an important and historic step toward expanding high-quality, affordable health care coverage and services to tens of millions of Americans, many of whom are struggling today financially. While considerable work remains to be done in reconciling differences between the Senate and House bills, we remain convinced that comprehensive health care reform, if done in a smart way, will benefit patients, our economy and the future of our nation.
“Most importantly, the Senate bill recognizes the importance of medical progress in America. Innovative, cutting-edge medicines have dramatically increased life expectancy rates in the United States and have allowed patients with cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other devastating chronic diseases to live longer, healthier and more productive lives. We strongly believe that everyone in America should benefit from promising new advances in medical care.
Statement of Americans United for Life Action President on Passage of Senate Health Care Bill
The following statement was issued by Dr. Charmaine Yoest, President of Americans United for Life Action:
“Americans don’t want taxpayer funding for abortions and are opposed to a first-ever, mandatory abortion tax. Knowing this, the bill’s proponents have rushed it through the Senate at a time when Americans are focused on celebrating Christmas with their families.”