NOVEMBER 7, 2009: MARKEY VOTES FOR HISTORIC HEALTH CARE REFORM BILL
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee--one of three committees with jurisdiction over health care policy--issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed a historic bill to reform the health care system Saturday night:
“This historic vote for comprehensive health care reform is exactly what I came here to Congress do,” said Markey. “Thirty three years ago, I called for comprehensive health care reform in my first congressional campaign. And today, I am proud to say we are closer than ever to fulfilling that dream.”
“With this bill, we stop insurance companies from unfairly denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. With this bill, we take a big step towards restoring hope for the millions of Americans who will wake up tomorrow without health insurance. I am proud to cast my vote today for lasting health care reform that will benefit generations to come.”
The bill also includes several Markey-authored provisions, including the Independence at Home Act, which creates a Medicare demonstration program which helps chronically ill seniors receive coordinated care from a team of health care professionals right in their own homes.
“This critical provision not only improves care for the most vulnerable among us, but also could save taxpayers money in the process by catching emerging health problems early, before they require a costly hospitalization,” said Markey.
“Another of my provisions, the Improving Access to Clinical Trials Act, will allow patients with rare diseases, like cystic fibrosis, to participate in clinical trial research to find a cure for their devastating disease without losing eligibility for Social Security benefits.”
In addition, Rep. Markey helped secure a Medicaid program for adult day health care services for vulnerable and disabled seniors and a Medicaid benefit providing transportation for chronically ill or disabled patients who need help getting to their doctor and hospital visits. Rep. Markey also authored a provision that helps prevent those insurers participating in the new National Exchange from cherry-picking only healthy patients. Rep. Markey also worked to ensure that Massachusetts was not disadvantaged as efforts proceed to study the geographic variations in Medicare reimbursement rates across the country.
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