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Thursday, November 19, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-NC) today issued the following statement on the Senate health care reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said the total cost of the bill will be $849 billion, and when all provisions are accounted for, the bill will reduce the federal deficit by $127 billion over the next 10 years. In the following decade, it will reduce the deficit by roughly $650 billion.

Senator Hagan said:

"The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has analyzed the Senate's health care reform bill, determining it will bring down our deficit into the future. Reducing our deficit has been a key priority of mine all along. People who like their insurance coverage and doctors will keep them. The Senate's bill will slow down the exploding costs of health care, expand coverage, protect Medicare and improve the quality of care for all Americans. Insurance companies will no longer be able to turn people away with pre-existing conditions. When people lose their jobs, they will have an avenue to get insurance.

"I was in Western North Carolina last week and learned that for the cost of one visit to the emergency room visit in Hendersonville, the Blue Ridge Community Health Center could provide health care to an individual for an entire year. This health care reform bill will give families and small businesses the ability to access and choose their health insurance, leaving the ER as the safety net it is intended to be. The Senate bill will reform the current health care system by supporting innovative programs, such as medical homes. Pioneered in North Carolina, patient-centered medical homes emphasize the connection between a patient and a primary care physician.

"We have taken a critical step forward in the process of getting a bill to the President's desk. I am taking the time to read all of the details of the measure, and will continue working with my colleagues on final legislation that provides stability and security to North Carolina families."

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