After careful consideration and months of conversations with constituents and stakeholders across our health care system, I voted in favor of the health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, because I believe it is a step in the right direction.
From decades of experience working with local health care providers, it was clear to me that inaction was not an option. Had we done nothing, health care costs would continue to skyrocket, absorbing more and more of our GDP and crippling the nation’s budget. Meanwhile, millions of Americans would continue to be unable to afford insurance.
Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage based on preexisting conditions, no longer be able to apply arbitrary caps to coverage, and will no longer be able to cancel policies when a person gets sick. As states begin to set up their health insurance Exchanges, small businesses and individuals will have access to a transparent marketplace with a wide variety of policies to purchase. Seniors will see the infamous Medicare prescription drug ‘donut hole’ closed, and will no longer pay out of pocket for preventive care. Investments in School-Based Health Centers, Medical Homes, Accountable Care Organizations and Community Health Centers will help reduce cost and improve the quality of care.
As with any major piece of legislation, improvements will be made as various parts of the law are implemented. As Congress continues to seek ways to strengthen our health care system, I will work with my colleagues to make changes to the law as necessary.