- If you are "high risk" or have a "preexisting condition," you will soon be able to buy health insurance.
- If you develop cancer or another health problem, your health insurance will no longer be able to drop your coverage because they don't want to pay for your treatment. (How was that allowed before?!)
- If you have develop an expensive problem, your insurance will no longer be able to stop paying for your medical care after you hit your annual or lifetime "cap."
- Kids can be covered under their parents' health insurance plans up to age 26 if they so choose.
- 32 million American who are not currently covered will be covered.
- Insurance companies will be held accountable so they can't come between patients and their doctors.
This is not government-run healthcare. It is regulation like we have in many other industries. Medical insurance companies must now follow certain ethical business practices. We ask the same of our food production companies, our car makers, our producers of high chairs and cribs. Why not of those who control our access to health: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?
The President says:
"For the first time in our nation's history, Congress has passed comprehensive health care reform. America waited a hundred years and fought for decades to reach this moment. Tonight, thanks to you, we are finally here.
Consider the staggering scope of what you have just accomplished:
Because of you, every American will finally be guaranteed high quality, affordable health care coverage.
Every American will be covered under the toughest patient protections in history. Arbitrary premium hikes, insurance cancellations, and discrimination against pre-existing conditions will now be gone forever.
And we'll finally start reducing the cost of care -- creating millions of jobs, preventing families and businesses from plunging into bankruptcy, and removing over a trillion dollars of debt from the backs of our children.
But the victory that matters most tonight goes beyond the laws and far past the numbers.
It is the peace of mind enjoyed by every American, no longer one injury or illness away from catastrophe.
It is the workers and entrepreneurs who are now freed to pursue their slice of the American dream without fear of losing coverage or facing a crippling bill.
And it is the immeasurable joy of families in every part of this great nation, living happier, healthier lives together because they can finally receive the vital care they need.
This is what change looks like.
My gratitude tonight is profound. I am thankful for those in past generations whose heroic efforts brought this great goal within reach for our times. I am thankful for the members of Congress whose months of effort and brave votes made it possible to take this final step. But most of all, I am thankful for you.
This day is not the end of this journey. Much hard work remains, and we have a solemn responsibility to do it right. But we can face that work together with the confidence of those who have moved mountains.
Our journey began three years ago, driven by a shared belief that fundamental change is indeed still possible. We have worked hard together every day since to deliver on that belief.
We have shared moments of tremendous hope, and we've faced setbacks and doubt. We have all been forced to ask if our politics had simply become too polarized and too short-sighted to meet the pressing challenges of our time. This struggle became a test of whether the American people could still rally together when the cause was right -- and actually create the change we believe in.
Tonight, thanks to your mighty efforts, the answer is indisputable: Yes we can.
President Barack Obama"