Congressman Keith Ellison (DFL-Minneapolis) released the following statement about the new consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act that take effect today:
Today marks the beginning of the end of the worst health insurance industry abuses that have bankrupted American families and left patients to suffer. The Patient's Bill of Rights brings new rights, benefits, and protections to American consumers as part of the historic Affordable Care Act.
These new rules will stop insurance companies from punishing you for getting sick, denying your claim for arbitrary reasons, and getting between you and your doctor when you need care. Unfortunately, every single Congressional Republican opposed the Affordable Care Act -- and now they are working to repeal it and put insurance companies back in charge of our health choices. Now is the time to build on the progress of this historic health insurance reform, not to go backward.
We must continue to expand health coverage, raise the quality of care, and lower costs. I am continuing to fight for a "public option" that would allow working families to choose more stable and affordable coverage. I also support allowing states to create single-payer health insurance systems on a state-by-state basis. The Affordable Care Act is an important first step in a longer effort to fix our broken health care system and to guarantee quality, affordable coverage for every American.