“Today we stood up to big insurance companies like Anthem. And we voted for reform that is going to crack down on their unfair practices like cancelling people’s insurance after they get sick.

“The reform we passed today will improve health care for 225,000 Maine seniors, strengthen Medicare, crack down on insurance industry practices, gives small businesses and individuals a tax break to buy insurance and reduces the deficit by $143 billion.

“The legislation passed by the House tonight will:

“Improve health care for 225,000 Maine seniors by closing the donut hole, reducing the price of prescription drugs and covering checkups.

“In 2010, Medicare beneficiaries who go into the donut hole will receive rebates and discounts on prescription drugs and the legislation
eventually closes the donut hole entirely.  The legislation requires free annual checkups and no out of pocket expenses for things like
cancer and diabetes screenings and strengthens Medicare and keeps it solvent.

“Crack down on the worst practices of the insurance industry.

“Legislation bans practices like discrimination based on pre-existing conditions and cancelling insurance coverage after policyholders get sick.

“Make it easier for small businesses and working Americans to afford health insurance, providing coverage for 63,000 Maine people.

“The legislation provides cost sharing assistance to working Americans to help them afford insurance and creates the largest health care tax break in history to make it easier for small businesses and individuals to afford coverage. The reform lets individuals and small businesses buy coverage from an ‘exchange’ so they can buy it the way big employers do.

“Reform is fully paid for and reduces the deficit by $143 billion.”

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