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Cardoza says he'll support health care plan

Congressman Dennis Cardoza (D-Merced) said Saturday that he'll support the health care overhaul bill.

Cardoza released the following statement to the media on Saturday afternoon:

"After decades of debate, the United States House of Representatives is poised to pass sweeping changes aimed at reining in spiraling health care costs and providing more control to patients and doctors in making critical and personal health care decisions. After closely reading the bill, meeting with my constituents and medical professionals for the past year, and taking into consideration all of the letters and phone calls my office received, I am pleased to announce I will vote in favor of the health care reform bill.

Among the significant benefits to our country and to those I represent:

It allows for portability, so that people can change jobs without losing their insurance.

It ensures decisions are made by doctors and patients, not the insurance company or the government.

It cuts the deficit by $138 billion in the first 10 years and $1.2 trillion in the following 10 years. The bill is fully paid for, costing $940 billion over a decade.

It prevents insurance companies from denying insurance to those with a “pre-existing” condition.

It prevents insurance companies from dropping a patient’s coverage once they are sick or providing caps on their benefits.

Small businesses will receive tax credits for providing insurance to their employees.

It protects the solvency of Medicare and eliminates the punitive “doughnut hole” on pharmaceutical coverage completely by 2020.

It allows parents to continue carrying their children on their existing plans until they are 26 years old, mitigating some of the economic difficulties facing young people.

This measure can stabilize health care costs, make health care more affordable for millions of Americans, help local and state governments which too often are forced to pay for the coverage of the uninsured, and allow millions of seniors and their families greater health care security. From the beginning of this discussion I have called for cost containment which must reduce the deficit, bending the medical cost curve that negatively impacts the country and our economy. This bill does that, along with its other significant improvements in our national health policy.