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Issue Position: Fixing our Broken Health Care System

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Issue Position: Fixing our Broken Health Care System

Fixing our Broken Health Care System
On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. This comprehensive health care reform is a historic achievement and a transformative moment for our health care system. I am proud to have helped pass this landmark legislation, and I am thankful for the hundreds of Rhode Islanders who shared their personal experiences in our health care system with me.

For Rhode Islanders and millions of Americans, reform will put an end to an insurer dropping someone when they get sick or denying coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Lifetime limits on benefits are prohibited, and annual limits are restricted. 125,000 Rhode Islanders who are currently uninsured will have access to affordable insurance options - even if they have a pre-existing condition.

In addition, bold and innovative steps to tame out-of-control medical cost growth and eliminate fraud and abuse in Medicare will reduce the federal deficit by over $100 billion in the next ten years.

Passage of this bill begins a reform effort in which Rhode Island has a great opportunity for national leadership. We can help show the way by promoting quality over quantity of care, implementing health information technology, and investing in preventive care.

In July, I hosted a meeting in Washington with 80 members of Rhode Island's health care community and national health care leaders, including Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Throughout the day, Rhode Islanders learned about opportunities in the new law, exchanged ideas about delivery system reform, and shared their insights and concerns with policymakers. As we take the first steps toward reforming our health care system, I hope meetings like this lead to new partnerships that strengthen Rhode Island's efforts to take full advantage of the law.

Along the path to health care reform, I will keep active as implementation moves forward. Please contact my office whenever you have questions or concerns about the health care reform law. More information can also be found on the White House's health care reform website at http://www.healthcare.gov/.

Together, I am confident that we can keep Rhode Island on the frontline of delivering quality, affordable health care.


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