We're one step closer. Here is Senator Reid's email he sent to supporters of healthcare reform over the weekend.
This evening, we took an enormous step toward achieving our goal of delivering quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans. Just a few minutes ago, 60 senators voted to block a Republican filibuster so that we can move the debate forward on the Patient Protection and Affordability Act - a fiscally responsible bill that will reduce the federal deficit by $130 billion in ten years, cut costs, protect patients' choice of their doctors, and insure an additional 31 million Americans.
I am very proud of this legislation, which will move us one step closer to ensuring affordable coverage for 518,000 more Nevadans.
The legislation will level the playing field for patients by holding insurance companies accountable. I worked hard to include a voluntary public option that will inject much needed competition into the healthcare marketplace and keep costs down. If you like the insurance you have, you can keep it. However, this legislation will provide something that is currently lacking for far too many Americans: choice.
The Patient Protection and Affordability Act protects our seniors. The bill strengthens Medicare services, making the critical program more sustainable while cutting waste, fraud and abuse. It also take steps to making prescription drug medications more affordable by reducing the Medicare "donut hole" and providing discounts for brand-name drugs and biologics purchased by low and middle-income beneficiaries.
The legislation addresses the skyrocketing healthcare costs for small businesses that are having a negative effect on our economy. It provides tax credits to assist small businesses to make employee coverage more affordable.
Tonight's vote is very exciting news. However, we will not pass the finish line until health insurance reform crosses President Obama's desk.
There's a long road ahead. But we are well on our way. Next step is to begin debate. When we return the week after Thanksgiving, we will begin the final steps toward passage. For a more detailed explanation of the pathway forward, you can go to my web site here.
You can also text "HCR" on your cell phones to 42779 for text message updates on the healthcare process.
Thank you for your continued support as we move closer toward our shared goal. Soon we will have health insurance reform that ensures quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.