(Source: The Hill)
One year ago today, the decades-long wait for healthcare reform finally ended when President Obama put his signature to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It's one of the most important pieces of domestic legislation of our lifetimes, and it is already making a powerful difference in the lives of so many Americans.
Republicans fought it then, and they're still fighting it now. They have no constructive ideas of their own on healthcare. They're nostalgic for the old system that left millions uninsured. They're pining for the old regime of runaway costs that were bankrupting families and small businesses. Despite the House's vote to repeal the bill, healthcare reform remains the law of the land, and I will fight to ensure it stays that way.
The Affordable Care Act benefits millions of working families – removing caps insurers may place on coverage; ending insurers' ability to deny coverage based on preexisting conditions; and extending coverage for Americans until age 26 under their parents plan. But even as we celebrate this historic progress, we must see it as a first step toward even more ambitious reform.
I am continuing the push for my legislation, H.R. 191, the Public Option Deficit Reduction Act. It would not only expand coverage and further reduce costs, it would save taxpayers $68 billion over seven years. It has 59 co-sponsors, not one of whom comes from the party that claims its top priority is to cut government spending.
Today, as we celebrate our landmark achievement of a year ago, let's renew the struggle for even bolder action that gives us a healthcare system worthy of the American people.