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Capps Supports Health-Care Reform Legislation

Congresswoman releases a statement on the landmark bill

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, on Friday announced her support of landmark health insurance reform legislation and released the following statement:

“I am thrilled we are taking the final steps to enact much-needed health insurance reform. Congress has debated this issue intensely for more than a year, and the need for reform is clear.

“Today, millions of Americans have no coverage, and everyone with coverage is at risk of losing it at any time due to unaffordable premium increases, the loss of a job, or even an untimely accident or illness. Insurance companies all too often drop people when they get sick and regularly raise premiums to unaffordable levels. Small businesses and families cannot afford skyrocketing health-care costs, which are a drag across the entire economy.

“This bill fixes those problems. It would help tens of thousands of Central Coast citizens without insurance today get coverage. Just as important, it will improve the coverage for the vast majority of my constituents who already have health insurance.

“The bill would make sure that everyone who already has coverage doesn’t lose it if they become sick, get in an accident, lose a job or want to change careers. It stops insurance companies from refusing coverage to people with so-called pre-existing conditions and charging women more just because they are women. It requires new private plans to cover certain preventive services with no co-pays and makes those services exempt from deductibles. It prohibits insurance companies from placing lifetime limits on coverage and from imposing annual limits. It allows children to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26. And it closes the unfair ‘doughnut hole’ in drug coverage, which affects some 9,000 seniors in the 23rd Congressional District.

“In addition, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the bill will actually reduce the federal deficit by more than $130 billion over the next 10 years and $1.2 trillion over the following 10 years, making it the largest deficit-reduction measure in a generation.

“Earlier this year, the Democratic-led Congress reinstated tough ‘pay-go’ budget rules the Republican-led Congress had allowed to lapse in 2003, and this bill is a reflection of our determination to bring our federal books back into balance as they were prior to the Bush administration.

“We all know the status quo in health care is unsustainable. It is bankrupting our country and too many families across the country. This bill puts in place common-sense reforms to ensure all Americans will always have access to quality, affordable health care while bringing down our deficit.”

The House is expected to vote on the legislation this weekend.

— Randolph Harrison is chief of staff for Rep. Lois Capps.


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