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Caribbean American Congresswoman Lauds Health Care Reform Law – CaribWorldNews

CaribWorldNews, WASHINGTON, D.C., Weds. Mar. 24, 2010: Caribbean American Congresswoman, Yvette D. Clarke, yesterday lauded the historic Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that passed the House Sunday night and was signed into law by President Obama Tuesday.

`I was both overjoyed and honored to witness history as the President signed comprehensive health care reform legislation into law. Americans have been waiting for this day to come for decades and we can finally celebrate this great success together,` said Clarke after attending a White House Ceremony where President Obama signed into law comprehensive Healthcare Reform legislation.

`Today, we won the fight for those who were denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. We expanded coverage to over 32 million people and put the American people in charge of their health care. This reform will be solidified through the tangible and invaluable effects it will have on all Americans, providing a foundation for future generations. I look forward to the Senate`s adoption of the reconciliation measure in the near future,` she added.

President Obama for his part was also in a jubilant mood. `Today, after almost a century of trying … health insurance reform becomes law in the United States of America.`

`The bill I`m signing will set in motion reforms that generations of Americans have fought for, and marched for, and hungered to see,` Obama added in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, with Democratic members of Congress and other supporters cheering.

He warned that while it will take four years to implement fully many of the reforms in the current law, because we need to implement them responsibly, several will take effect this year.

This includes offering tax credits to about 4 million small businessmen and women to help them cover the cost of insurance for their employees; ensuring that tens of thousands of uninsured Americans with preexisting conditions, the parents of children who have a preexisting condition, finally be able to purchase the coverage they need and allowing for all new insurance plans to offer free preventive care.

Additionally, this year, young adults will be able to stay on their parents` policies until they`re 26 years old and seniors who fall in the coverage gap known as the doughnut hole will start getting some help.

They`ll receive $250 to help pay for prescriptions, and that will, over time, fill in the doughnut hole.

Over the next four years, as the reform is fully implemented, health insurance exchanges will be created making for a competitive marketplace where uninsured people and small businesses will finally be able to purchase affordable, quality insurance.

`They will be able to be part of a big pool and get the same good deal that members of Congress get,` said Obama. `That`s what`s going to happen under this reform. And when this exchange is up and running, millions of people will get tax breaks to help them afford coverage, which represents the largest middle-class tax cut for health care in history. That`s what this reform is about.`

Meanwhile, fourteen states quickly filed suit in federal court to challenge the law, arguing that it undercuts states` rights, and congressional Republicans, who had unanimously opposed the bill, vowed to keep fighting it.

The Senate has began debating a package of changes aimed at improving the $940 billion overhaul. Republicans vowed to fight those changes, but Democratic leaders say they are confident they have the votes to pass the package.