Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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With Historic Health Care Vote, Congressman Garamendi Joins Majority in House in Forming a More Perfect Union

March 21, 2010
Press Release

32 Million Americans to Gain Access to Insurance Because Democrats
Tirelessly Fought for Most Significant Health Reform Since Medicare

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek, CA), California’s first elected Insurance Commissioner and a former Lieutenant Governor, today was proud to vote for a health care reform package that will expand health care coverage to 32 million Americans. The Senate language was passed by a 219-212 vote, and the reconciliation was passed by a 220-211 vote. His statement is below:

"Today, Democrats in the House of Representatives voted to form a more perfect union. By expanding health care coverage to 32 million Americans, we are continuing the proud American tradition of promoting justice, ensuring the general welfare, and broadening access to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

"Republican leaders in the 1930s said Social Security would lead to 'the lash of the dictator' and in the 1960s said Medicare would lead to grandparents telling stories of 'what it once was like in America when men were free.' Yet with time, Social Security and Medicare became incredibly popular services cherished by most Americans. A broader consensus emerged, and a more perfect union was formed. I am confident that the same will soon be said about today’s health care reform bill.

"When the people get past the slogans, the fear tactics, and the gross distortions, what they find in this legislation is a series of ideas widely popular and aligned with the best of American values. This is the second largest deficit reduction bill in 20 years. In my district, 9,000 people with preexisting conditions will finally be able to have access to insurance. 96,000 seniors will see their Medicare improved with significant prescription drug discounts and free preventative screenings. 106,000 families will receive tax credits to make their coverage more affordable. 52,000 young adults will be able to attain coverage through their parents' insurance. 13,100 small business owners will receive significant tax rebates. 1,400 families will avoid bankruptcy. A similar story exists in every corner of this great country.

"In the fight to extend health coverage to every man, woman, and child, this bill is an incredibly important beginning. But it's still just a beginning. 'A more perfect union' implies that the progress of the American experience is never complete. Each subsequent generation is expected to pick up the torch and continue on our long road toward positive change. Today the House of Representatives bestowed upon this great nation the most historic health reform since Medicare. I am proud to have voted 'yes' for health care reform. I won't live to see a perfect union, but it is a tremendous honor to see a more perfect union formed before my eyes."