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DNC Chairman Tim Kaine Calls Senate Vote Historic, Says Landmark Health Reform Bill Is a Victory for the American People

WASHINGTON, Dec. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- DNC Chairman Tim Kaine issued the following statement after the Senate voted to pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, landmark health care reform legislation. Democrats passed the bill on Christmas Eve, after overcoming a series of procedural hurdles and delay tactics by Republicans that were designed to stop the bill from ever reaching the Senate floor for a vote on final passage.

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"Years from now, when historians look back on 2009, they will recall a Christmas Eve vote in the Senate that took us one giant step closer to finally delivering health reform to the American people.

"The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is landmark legislation. It is the most significant piece of domestic policy since Social Security, the single largest expansion of health care coverage since Medicare and the largest deficit reduction package in more than a decade.

"This bill will help more than 30 million Americans access quality affordable insurance. It will outlaw the insurance industry's worst practices, prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage because of a pre-existing condition or retroactively canceling coverage when someone gets sick. It will lower premiums for individuals, families and businesses. And it will actually reduce our deficit by more than $130 billion over the next 10 years.

"This bill accomplishes the goals President Obama articulated at the beginning of this debate: more stable and secure coverage for the insured, more quality affordable choices for the uninsured, and reducing the skyrocketing costs of care for everyone, including our government.

"For Senate Democrats - who stand united in the belief that health care is a right not a privilege - this bill represents hard fought common ground. Thanks to President Obama's extraordinary leadership and the legislative acumen of Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV), Committee Chairmen Max Baucus (MT), Chris Dodd (CT), Tom Harkin (IA) and the inspiration of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, Democrats are now closer than ever to achieving what no president in the past 100 years has been able to do. While there is still more work to do in the weeks ahead, comprehensive health reform is finally within our grasp.

"This victory for the American people comes despite the incessant and virulent obstructionism of Senate Republicans. Not one voted in a favor of reform - a crippling commentary on their failure to fulfill the responsibilities of leadership. As we move forward, the onus is on the GOP to explain why they sided with their insurance industry friends instead of American families - why they turned their backs on workers and small businesses who are struggling to stay afloat under the status quo.

"Democrats will continue to move forward; we will continue to make progress; and as the New Year dawns, President Obama and Congressional Democrats will deliver the critical changes to our health care system that have been nearly a century in the making."

SOURCE Democratic National Committee

SOURCE Democratic National Committee
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