A monumental step | AspenTimes.com

A monumental step

Dear Editor:

On Tuesday, President Obama signed the landmark health care legislation into law at a signing ceremony at the White House.

During his remarks, the president reminded us that though this bill isn’t perfect, it does enshrine the basic principle that everybody is entitled to basic health care. Several of the provisions that will go into effect this year, include:

• Families will be able to keep their children on their health care plan until their 26th birthday and children cannot be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions.

• Small businesses will receive tax breaks for extending coverage to their employees.

• Seniors will receive a $250 rebate for prescription drugs that fall in the Medicare donut hole and will no longer have to make the choice between buying the prescription drugs they need or putting food on the table.

• Ends rescissions-bans insurance companies from dropping people from coverage when they get sick.

• Free preventive care will be required under new private plans with no co-payments.

Later in the day, the president remarked, “Even if this bill is not exactly perfect, it is important to stay focused on the big picture. All major Legislative victories had a basic framework initially and were later refined and moved in the direction of progress.”

The president also reminded us all to thank our congressmen and senators that cast the brave votes to pass this health care reform legislation. They will be needing our support this election cycle. Please help me in thanking and supporting Congressman John Salazar, Sen. Udall and Sen. Bennet.

I know that there are many who are very cynical about the need for health reform. To some in this country, health care is a privilege, not a moral right. President Obama would not agree. In the president’s closing remarks at the signing ceremony, he reminded us about why this monumental legislation is so important: “We are a nation that faces its challenges and accepts its responsibilities. We are a nation that does what is hard, what is necessary, what is right. Here in this country, we shape our own destiny. That is what we do. That is who we are. That is what makes us the United States of America.”

It has been a long campaign to get this bill passed. For the hundreds of you that either attended health care house parties, sent e-mails, made phone calls and or gathered supporter signatures to help pass this legislation – on behalf of the 30 million previously uninsured Americans that will now be newly covered under this new health care reform legislation – I say thank you!

Blanca O’Leary

DNC, Member At-Large


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