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{By email, 11/19/13, in response to form request to defund Obamacare.}

Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that was signed into law on March 23, 2010. I certainly understand your concerns and have spent the past few years working to ensure that this reform will crack down on insurance company abuses; allow New Yorkers who are happy with their insurance coverage to keep it; and cut down on the waste, fraud and abuse in the health care system.

I supported both the ACA and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act because they made needed improvements to our health care system. There has been an enormous amount of misinformation out there about what this reform package will and will not do, but there are many good things in this bill, that will and already have been improving people’s lives.

For the average American who is currently covered by their employer plan, they are going to discover that very little will change for them. If they like their plan, they will get to keep their plan and their doctor. Their benefits won’t be taxed and they won’t pay higher Medicare taxes. But what they will notice in the years ahead is that their health care costs will become more affordable. For those Americans who have recently gotten sick, or who do in the future, they no longer have to worry that health insurers will take away their coverage so they can avoid paying consumers’ bills. We will no longer have to hear those stories of health insurers looking for any excuse to cut sick people off from their insurance when they need it most. And for anyone who is working hard to make ends meet, health care reform will now require insurance companies to cover preventative care, so that illness and disease can be prevented. These are only a few reasons why I believe that health care reform is good for New York and good for the country.

The American health care system is one of the best in the world, but it is also one of the most inefficient. That is why Congress looked for unnecessary government spending within the health care system to pay for reform. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has found that health care reform will decrease the federal government’s deficit by $143 billion over the next ten years, and will result in even more savings to taxpayers in the decade after that. Because it will help us rein in out of control costs in the system, health care reform is fiscally responsible and will benefit taxpayers over the years.

This law will not fix all of the problems in our health care system, but it will and has already begun making significant steps in the right direction, and I will continue to fight for New York families and their right to access affordable, quality health care coverage.

Again, thank you for contacting me on this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can ever be of assistance to you on this, or any other matter.

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