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With Harkin's Support, Senate Passes Landmark Health Reform Measure

Legislation decreases the number of uninsured, increases access to affordable care and makes health insurance companies more accountable Includes historic investment in prevention, wellness

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today joined the Democratic Senate majority in supporting The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The legislation passed the Senate by a vote of 60 to 39 and will now go on to conference with the House. Harkin is Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, one of the?two Senate committees charged with crafting health reform.

“Today I cast one of the defining votes of my Senate career – a vote that will bring the promise of comprehensive health reform closer to every American,” said Harkin. “Our legislation has a simple goal: decrease the number of uninsured, increase access to affordable care and make health insurance companies more accountable. In passing it today, we send an important message to Americans that help is on the way – that your insurance company can no longer discriminate against you for a pre-existing condition or based on your gender; if you’re a small business owner, you will have more choice and competition in the marketplace, and if you’re a?senior, you will the prescription drug coverage you need.

“But we also know that in order to truly bend the cost curve, we must break the cycle of rising chronic disease that is keeping health care costs high,” continued Harkin. “I can say without hesitation that this legislation provides an historic investment in prevention and wellness at every level –federal, clinical and in our communities to remove the barriers to healthy living.

“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is landmark legislation and it will provide the reforms our country so desperately needs at a time when we need them the most.”