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Udall Secures Changes in Health Care Bill to Improve Care, Cut Costs, Help Meet Needs of Rural Colorado

Press Release

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

2 Udall-Authored Rural Health Provisions Will Increase Number of Rural Doctors, Help Rural Communities Provide Prevention and Wellness Services

Today, U.S. Senator Mark Udall announced that he has secured several amendments to improve the Senate's health insurance reform bill, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, by helping to ensure all Coloradans have access to quality and affordable care.

The provisions, which were included in an agreement reached today, will strengthen the health care reform effort to help encourage innovations that improve care and save consumers money. They also will help ensure rural communities are able to share in those innovations. The bill includes Senator Udall's Rural Physician Pipeline Act, a provision aimed at fighting chronic disease in rural communities, and a provision to expand the Independent Payment Advisory Board, among others.

"The road to health care reform has been tough going. It reminds me of the time I skied across Northern Alaska for 40 days, waking up in the same cold tent every day. But today, it feels a little warmer, the skies look a little bluer, and I'm optimistic that we're on the last leg of an important journey," Senator Udall said.

"The agreement we reached today isn't perfect, but it is a solid foundation for changes the country desperately needs. With this improved bill, we can begin giving families the security they need to stay healthy, and we can provide small businesses and workers the freedom to start a business or change jobs without fear of losing their health insurance. It will begin reining in health care costs - which is critical if we expect to restore our economic prosperity. And it provides a framework for reducing the deficit and strengthening Medicare for the long-term."

"I have been moved by stories from families and small businesses around Colorado, as I have traveled the state talking to them about health care. This agreement doesn't have everything I'd like to have seen included, but I am glad that the final agreement includes my amendments, which will encourage innovation, lower costs, improve care, and ensure rural Colorado won't be left behind as we reform our broken health care system," Senator Udall continued.

"We aren't done with our journey yet. I will spend the days leading up to the final vote examining this agreement in detail. But I am very optimistic that we are closer than ever before to ensuring that millions of Americans will be able to have secure, stable and affordable health care."

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