November 19, 2009


Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) today praised Majority Leader Reid for successfully consolidating health reform bills previously approved by the Senate HELP and Finance committees. Senator Cardin praised the bill from the floor of the U.S. Senate.  Video of his remarks will be available at .
"I've told the people of Maryland that I would only support a health care reform bill if it accomplished three things: first, it needs to bring down the cost of health care in America; second, it needs to provide an affordable, quality insurance option to every American; third, it needs to do this in a fiscally responsible way.  I am pleased that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that Senator Reid has brought forward accomplishes these three goals.
"The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act brings down the cost of health care in America by investing in our entire health care system and putting patients before profits. It invests in prevention and healthy lifestyles; cracks down on fraud, waste, and abuse; and eliminates unnecessary administrative costs.  Such changes are critical for improving quality and reducing costs.
"The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will allow every American to have access to affordable health insurance and quality care. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill will reduce the number of uninsured Americans by 31 million.  We will be able to cover 98 percent of all Americans, including seniors and some of our most vulnerable citizens. Having all Americans participate in our health care system is one of the most fundamental steps we can take to reduce costs.
"The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act moves forward in a fiscally responsible way. Not only do we stay within our budget, but we actually reduce our deficit by $127 billion. Importantly, we place no new tax burdens on middle-class America.
"I'm particularly pleased that this bill will help middle-income families. Insurance companies will no longer be allowed to discriminate against individuals with pre-existing conditions, nor will they be able to cancel coverage when someone gets sick and needs medical care.  Lifetime caps on benefits will be abolished while preventive care and wellness, which save lives and save money, will be covered at little or no cost.
"I commend Senator Reid for bringing this bill together and keeping the Senate moving forward toward passing comprehensive health care reform. The status quo is not acceptable. We need to act."