Healthcare Reform Passage Is Historic Step Forward

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After a long, steep climb that took many twists and turns, in the end "morality trumped greed to give 32 million more Americans health insurance coverage," AFT president Randi Weingarten says. "We applaud the Congress on final passage of the healthcare reform reconciliation legislation, which will create a safety net for the previously uninsured, curb insurance company abuses, and make important changes to the excise tax on some plans so that costs are not unfairly shifted to working families.

"It is a shame that not one Republican voted for this transformative piece of social legislation. In the United States, healthcare that is accessible and affordable to all, and that enables seniors to purchase affordable medications, should be a right, not a privilege. Congress and the White House have now given Americans what they need and deserve."

In an earlier statement after the House of Representatives passed the main reform bill (see press release), Weingarten noted that the bill is not perfect, but it is a historic piece of legislation that makes a significant start toward the goal of affordable, high-quality healthcare for all Americans.

Two documents prepared by Democratic leaders in the House have more information about the legislation. One is a summary of the key provisions and the other outlines key parts of the law that take effect immediately. [AFT press release]

March 26, 2010