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Comprehensive Health Care Reform Urgently Needed

June 19, 2009
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – As Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro (Conn. – 3) pressed Dr. Christina Romer, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors about the need for a public plan at a Budget Committee Hearing on the economic case for health care reform, three House committees announced their draft proposal to reform our health care system and ensure affordable, quality health care.

“There should be no question that we must move urgently to reform health care – a point that was reinforced repeatedly at today’s Budget Committee Hearing. Families in Connecticut and across the country are already painfully aware of the cost of waiting. In Connecticut, between 2000 and 2007 family health care premiums rose by 80.7 percent, even as coverage eroded. The cost of inaction is too high.

“And I was pleased to see the draft proposal put forward today by the committees on Education and Labor, Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means. Not only does this continue to build the momentum on tangible, comprehensive health care reform, but it also, notably, includes a public plan option.

“I firmly believe that any reform proposal must include a public insurance option that competes with private health insurance to bring prices down and to expand choice for consumers. It will enable us to achieve savings with preventive care and wellness coverage, expanded computerization of records, and best practices.”

The health care draft proposal put forward by the committees on Education and Labor, Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means will:

· Lowers costs for American families by -

o Putting an end to co-pays and deductibles for preventive care

o Capping annual out-of-pocket expenses so Americans are no longer driven into financial ruin by the cost of medical care

o Ending rate increases based on pre-existing conditions, gender, or occupation

o Offering the group purchasing power of a national pool if you have to buy your own plan

o Guaranteeing, affordable oral health and vision care for kids

· Provides greater choices like -

o Keeping your doctor and your plan if you like them

o Participating in your choice of a high-quality public health insurance option that would compete with private companies

· Offers stability and peace of mind with -

o An end to coverage denials for a pre-existing condition like heart disease, diabetes, or cancer

o The care you need with an end to lifetime limits

o The freedom to make job and life choices not based on health care coverage

· Improves the quality of health care in this country -

o Doctors--not insurance companies—will be in charge of health care decisions

o More family doctors and nurses will enter the workforce, at better payment rates, helping to guarantee your access to quality care