National Partnership for Women & Families

Leading Consumer Expert Praises Senator Kerry for Proposal to Ensure that Health Insurance Exchanges Work on Behalf of Consumers

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C. — October 29, 2009 —
“The consumers and patients who are relying on Congress to pass meaningful health reform this year owe Senator John Kerry a debt of gratitude for his proposal to ensure that the health plans offered in health insurance exchanges represent the best value for consumers. This is exactly the type of reform that puts the health and well-being of America’s families first and brings costs under control — goals we can all share.

Kerry’s proposal would give states the ability to negotiate with health plans in the exchange in order to enforce the very things consumers need in health reform: an honest system that offers high quality, affordable coverage they can count on. And because it would drive competition among insurance companies, Kerry’s proposal would also help control costs over time and guarantee that we’re using taxpayer subsidies efficiently and effectively.

It’s the difference between sending consumers into a system where they’re going to have to watch out for hidden risks and one where they can shop for insurance with confidence that it will be there for them down the road. It’s simply good public policy.”

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at

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