Today, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) released the following statement on the Senate's passage of the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act:
"Today, we have taken a huge step forward for our nation by passing historic legislation that will make affordable health care a reality for America's families.
"When this legislation takes full effect, 95 percent of Americans will have access to affordable health care, including up to 7 million uninsured Californians. Insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage because of a pre-existing condition or cancel policies when people are sick and in great need. And small business owners will get large tax credits to provide health care for themselves and their employees.
"Prescription drugs will become more affordable for our seniors. Young adults will have the security of knowing they can stay on their parents' health plan until they are 26. Preventive care such as mammograms and vaccinations will be free.
"This legislation will bring community health centers to 10,000 communities, extend Medicare for nine years and create an insurance exchange that will allow consumers to purchase competitively priced health insurance. And this fiscally responsible legislation will reduce the deficit by $143 billion over the first ten years and by more than $1 trillion over the next decade.
"This legislation is also a victory for college students, who will benefit from the single largest investment in federal student aid in U.S. history. By eliminating subsidies to big banks and cutting out the middleman, we will save taxpayers money and provide Pell Grants to 63,000 more students in California over the next ten years."