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With health care reform now a done deal, this is what they are saying

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President Barack Obama: “...At a time when the pundits said it was no longer possible, we rose above the weight of our politics ... we proved that we are still a people capable of doing big things and tackling our biggest challenges. We proved that this government -- a government of the people and by the people -- still works for the people.

    “...Today’s vote answers the prayers of every American who has hoped deeply for something to be done about a health care system that works for insurance companies, but not for ordinary people.

    “...Tonight’s vote is not a victory for any one party -- it’s a victory for them. It’s a victory for the American people. And it’s a victory for common sense.

    “...This legislation will not fix everything that ails our health care system. But it moves us decisively in the right direction. This is what change looks like.

    “...When faced with crisis, we did not shrink from our challenge -- we overcame it. We did not avoid our responsibility -- we embraced it. We did not fear our future -- we shaped it.”

    Fifth District Congressman Tom Perriello: “For more than a century, our leaders have promised affordable universal healthcare to all Americans. Today we delivered that result in a way that our local hospitals say will improve quality and reduce costs for patients. Middle-class families will save $1,000 to $2,000 per year, and small business owners will see the cost of covering their workers drop. This bill will help our rural hospitals and clinics keep their doors open, improve health care for over 400,000 local residents, reduce the federal deficit, and provide coverage to 48,000 more individuals in the 5th district alone — more than the population of Danville.

    “At the end of the day, this decision for me came down to whether working families would see savings at the kitchen table. They will. I asked whether seniors will see the Medicare Trust Fund extended and the cost of prescription drugs drop. They will. As I have heard from our major hospitals that endorsed the bill, this legislation will improve health care and bring down costs for Virginians.”

    Sixth District Congressman Bob Goodlatte: “With complete and total disregard for the will of the American people, House Democrats pushed through their health care legislation, which is defined by federal regulations, mandates, a myriad of new big government programs, and a significant increase in federal spending and debt at a cost to our country too high to bear.  This legislation, which I voted against, gives Washington bureaucrats ultimate control over what is best for you and your family – deciding when and what treatment you can receive. 

    “... It raises taxes, raises health care costs, adds to our national debt, and hurts America’s seniors, families and small businesses.

    “Specifically, the Democrats’ health care bill includes $569 billion in new taxes and over a trillion dollars in new government spending.  This includes $52 billion in new taxes on employers, including small businesses, that cannot afford to provide health coverage or that don’t offer coverage.  The effect of this type of tax, similar to a payroll tax increase, would ultimately fall squarely on workers in the form of lower wages or reduced employment. Additionally, the legislation includes $17 billion in new taxes on Americans who do not comply with the individual insurance mandate which is sure to further stifle economic growth.

    “Additionally, the Democrats’ health care bill includes $523 billion in Medicare cuts, including $200 billion in cuts to the popular Medicare Advantage program which will hurt millions of seniors.

    “It’s your job to make health care decisions for your family.  The government’s job is to ensure you have access to affordable alternatives and then get out of the way.”