One of Congressman Garamendi's first acts in Congress was to pass the Patient's Bill of Rights, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which made significant progress in preventing insurance companies from exploiting consumers and greatly expands health care access and services. With the Supreme Court confirming its constitutionality.
"When people fall ill, we should help them get better. Most of us have experienced hard times. Many of us have gone without health coverage. When you lay all the heated rhetoric and legalese aside, the health care debate is really about what we're going to do when people get sick or injured. In America, we should take care of each other. It is irresponsible to force millions of Americans to delay treatment because they can't afford it, to live one broken leg or one chronic illness away from financial calamity."
– Congressman John Garamendi
The health care law establishes a powerful Patient's Bill of Rights. No longer will Americans with a pre-existing condition be denied health coverage. No longer will women be charged more for coverage. The health law will finally close the prescription drug donut hole, so seniors can afford their medication. The benefits of the Affordable Care Act have already started. 32.5 million seniors have already received free preventative services. Three million additional young adults now have health coverage because of the law. Small businesses can take advantage of tax credits so they can provide insurance for their employees. Starting in 2014, 30 million more Americans will be able to afford access to health care.
Garamendi is proud of his work to help pass and strengthen the Patient's Bill of Rights, but he also understands that our work is not done to create a health care system that works for everyone. In the coming years, Garamendi will continue to advocate for a public option, stronger affordability protections for consumers, and more robust oversight of the insurance industry.