DPW Chairman Mike Tate released the following statement following the passage of health reform legislation by the House of Representatives today:

“Today, the Congress and President Obama brought long overdue reform to the American health care system.

“The Democratic Members of our delegation all saw the wisdom, morality and necessity of this moment and played no small part in ensuring that the reform reflects the best of Wisconsin’s values, whether it be for transparency, for thrift, for accountability or for fairness.

“As they have throughout history, the special interests fought with great fury, even spending part of their lucre right here in Wisconsin to distort, deceive, dissemble and ultimately to defend the status quo. The Republican members of the Wisconsin delegation followed the shameful lead of Paul Ryan, embracing his outrageous “plan” to dismantle Medicare and Social Security.

“But the status quo is no more, right here in Wisconsin, the bill will:

·       Improve coverage for 3,798,000 residents with health insurance.

·       Give tax credits and other assistance to up to 1,369,000 families and 123,900 small businesses to help them afford coverage.

·       Improve Medicare for 877,000 beneficiaries, including closing the “donut hole.”

·       Extend coverage to 172,000 uninsured residents.

·       Guarantee that 63,200 residents with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage.

·       Protect 10,300 families from bankruptcy due to unaffordable health care costs.

·       Allow 455,000 young adults to obtain coverage on their parents’ insurance plans, complimenting existing Wisconsin law.

·       Provide millions of dollars in new funding for 87 community health centers.

·       Reduce the cost of uncompensated care for hospitals and other health care providers by $433 million annually.

“The evidence is overwhelming and though this is a bad day for the special interests and the status quo, it is a great day for our nation and a great day for the health of Wisconsin’s working families.”