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Harkin: Republicans Vote to Put Insurance Companies Back in the Driver's Seat

January 19, 2011

Harkin: Republicans Vote to Put Insurance Companies Back in the Driver's Seat

HELP Committee to Begin Series of Health Reform Hearings Next Week

WASHINGTON – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), spoke out against today’s vote by the House Republicans to repeal the health reform law.  As HELP Committee Chairman, Harkin played a critical role in passing the Affordable Care Act, and, next week, he will convene the first in a series of HELP Committee hearings to examine how the law is benefitting Americans.  

“By voting to repeal health reform today, House Republicans have voted to allow insurance companies to once again deny coverage to Americans with preexisting conditions, cancel coverage when people get sick, and raise premiums to protect CEO salaries,” said Harkin.  “If House Republicans had their way, insurance companies would be back in the driver’s seat, taking away the freedom, choice, and control over health care that the Affordable Care Act offers every American.  Rest assured, this wrongheaded stunt will not make any headway in the Senate.   

“We’ve heard a lot of health reform fiction from the House Republicans, but next week, HELP Committee members will hear the facts, directly from Americans who are already benefiting from the Affordable Care Act.  As they demonstrated today, House Republicans are dead-set on political grandstanding and reopening old arguments.  Democrats, on the other hand, are focused on swiftly and efficiently implementing health reform so that its advantages will be enjoyed by all Americans.”