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Mr. BURRIS. Mr. President, I thank Senator Warner. I compliment him for his leadership in getting the freshmen engaged and involved in making sure we are getting the message out to the American people.
This piece of legislation, which was signed yesterday by President Obama, is historic. I am proud and appreciative that I had the opportunity to play a part. As you know, my position was for a very strong public option. But as to the issues that are in it, we deal with cost and accountability for the insurance companies. Therefore, it is a major piece of legislation which we want the public to understand.
We want the public to understand that for some people this law takes effect immediately. Small businesses benefit in that they will get a tax credit right away. These tax credits can total as much as 35 percent of total premiums. Secondly, for children there will be no elimination for preexisting conditions. Within the next 90 days, these provisions will kick in on behalf of children. So there are a lot of things in this bill that will benefit all of us.
We have been trying to do this for over 97 years.
I say to my colleagues on the other side, the reconciliation bill is important to make some corrections. The battle they are waging, not from the standpoint of policy but certainly from the standpoint of politics, seeking to make a failure out of this issue, is not really fair to the American people. The misinformation that has been going out about this legislation is not fair.
Not only are we going to see immediate benefits, but the long-term benefits of this legislation are also helpful. Situations dealing with preexisting conditions--in 2014, that will kick in. I remember when my daughter was changing jobs, she needed to get insurance because she had a headache problem. They wouldn't insure her. I had to battle to get insurance for my daughter.
This is good legislation. It is history. I want the American people to know that it is on the books, and we are going to make necessary corrections. The people will go forward.
I thank my colleague from Virginia.
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