"We took a stand tonight for hard-working middle class families who deserve a better value for their health care dollar, better health care for America's seniors, and for those who have been denied insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition or whose insurance is rescinded when they needed it most," said Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) after casting her vote in favor of H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the accompanying bill, H.R. 4872, the Reconciliation Act of 2010. The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3509 by a vote of 219 yeas to 212 nays. The House passed H.R. 4872, 220 yeas to 211 nays.
"Once this bill is signed into law, Americans will see immediate benefits," explained Congresswoman Hirono. "Seniors served by Medicare who hit the doughnut hole will start to see immediate relief, preventative services will be free under Medicare, and small businesses will be eligible for a tax credit of up to 35% of premiums. The bill will also ban insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions and it eliminates lifetime limits and restrictive annual limits on coverage."
The health care reform bill includes an amendment that provides an exemption for Hawaii's Prepaid Health Care Act.
"Hawaii's premier state health care law remains intact," said Congresswoman Hirono. "Today's vote brings us closer to providing affordable health care options to part-time workers who aren't covered by the Prepaid Healthcare Act."
The federal legislation establishes health care reform in a way that reduces the deficit, provides stability and security for Americans who currently have health insurance, and an affordable, quality option for those without coverage.
The legislation now goes before President Barack Obama for his signature.