A Momentous Step

The following statement was released by Roger Hickey and Diane Archer

The Campaign for America’s Future declares our strong public support for the “Affordable Health Care for America Act of 2009” (H.R. 3962).

While we would’ve preferred stronger provisions in some key areas, this legislation constitutes a momentous step toward making a guarantee of quality affordable health care a reality for all Americans. And we hope that it serves as a model for action by the Senate.

The bill calls for shared responsibility by individuals, employers and government. It retains and strengthens employer-sponsored insurance, which currently provides the majority of Americans under the age of 65 with health coverage. It provides progressive financing and promotes good health policy by requiring employers to share responsibility for health care costs and the wealthiest one percent of Americans to pay their fair share instead of taxing health care benefits.

The Campaign for America’s Future is particularly supportive of the provisions in the bill that make health insurance and health care services more affordable, and those that make health insurance companies more accountable.

The inclusion of premium assistance, reduced cost-sharing, an annual out-of-pocket limit and comprehensive benefit packages, will help ensure that low- and middle-income individuals and families with health insurance will no longer have to file for bankruptcy when they have a medical crisis.

In addition, the inclusion of a public health insurance option will increase competition and set a benchmark for transparency and efficiency that will help lower the current unsustainable health care cost curve. Stronger federal regulations, including repealing the antitrust exemption for health insurers, as well as complementary federal oversight and enforcement of insurance regulations, will also assist in keeping insurance companies competitive and more responsive to the needs of their members over those of Wall Street.

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