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Health Care Reform Plan Announced

June 19, 2009
Press Release

Washington, DC U. S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. announced on Friday a health care reform plan that will ensure affordable, quality health care — a critical fix to an unsustainably expensive system that hurts families and puts American businesses at a global disadvantage. The plan is the product of work among three House committees and three subcommittees, including the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, which is chaired by Pallone.

         "Today we are taking a big step towards historic health care reform for all Americans," Pallone said. "We have worked long and hard to reach this day with the full knowledge that our work is not done. We will continue to have an open mind to improve the plan but this is a strong blueprint for reforms that will make health care more affordable, expand choice of doctors and insurance plans, extend coverage to the uninsured and give everyone the security of knowing coverage won't be denied or taken away.  A new day for health care is now closer in sight."  

The plan announced today would protect what works in our health care system and reform what doesn’t, encouraging competition to lower costs and increase choice. 

"This is a uniquely American plan that reduces costs to consumers, protects current coverage and preserves the choice of doctors, hospitals and health plans," Pallone said. "This plan tells every American – if you have coverage and a doctor you like, keep it. If you don't, this plan will give you the tools and resources you need to get affordable, quality care.  It’s your choice."

Our health plan fulfills commitments made by this Congress and President Obama to reform health care. The plan:

·       Lowers costs for American families by - 

  • Putting an end to co-pays and deductibles for preventive care
  • Capping annual out-of-pocket expenses so Americans are no longer driven into financial ruin by the cost of medical care
  • Ending rate increases based on pre-existing conditions, gender, or occupation
  • Offering the group purchasing power of a national pool if you have to buy your own plan
  • Guaranteeing, affordable oral health and vision care for kids

·       Provides greater choices like -

  • Keeping your doctor and your plan if you like them
  • 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 -

  • An end to coverage denials for a pre-existing condition like heart disease, diabetes, or cancer
  • The care you need with an end to lifetime limits
  • The freedom to make job and life choices not based on health care coverage

·       Improves the quality of health care in this country -

  • Doctors--not insurance companies—will be in charge of health care decisions
  • More family doctors and nurses will enter the workforce, at better payment rates, helping to guarantee your access to quality care

Reforming health care is an important part of every family’s economic well-being and our economic recovery. We must act now to put our nation on a strong fiscal foundation moving forward. Because we can’t leave that burden to future generations, we will make sure our plan is fiscally responsible.