I helped lead the historic effort to reform our broken health care system. The legislation will give consumers guaranteed protections to make sure they have access to the care they need. Beginning this year, children will no longer be allowed to be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition like asthma or diabetes and insurance plans may no longer place lifetime limits on coverage. In addition, young Americans can now stay on their parents plan until age 26 and seniors who hit the Medicare Part D donut hole will begin to receive relief. Over the next few years more protections will be extended to every American as no one will be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, out-of-pocket expenses will be limited in every new insurance plan, and tax credits will be available to individuals and families who purchase coverage through newly established marketplaces, known as exchanges.
Besides providing historic protections to consumers, the health reform effort focused on bringing down costs in the health care system and reducing the deficit. The legislation is projected to reduce the deficit by over $1 trillion over the next two decades. It invests in common-sense strategies to reduce health care costs that focus on coordinating care, reducing hospital readmissions and giving people better access to primary care. Finally, it takes strong action to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicare to protect taxpayer dollars and Medicare beneficiaries.