FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Senate Finance Committee Advances Important Health Reform Legislation;
Major Fixes Included but More Work to Be Done, Leading Consumer Advocate Says
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, DC — October 13, 2009 — “Today, in a historic step forward, the Senate Finance Committee reported out the final of five reform bills that have the potential to transform our broken health care system.
The Finance Committee bill builds on the momentum we’ve seen over the past several months to make some sorely needed improvements to our health care system. Chief among them are key insurance market reforms that take great strides towards protecting Americans’ health coverage — making it illegal for insurance companies to raise rates based on a pre-existing condition or gender, denying coverage based on health status, and dropping people who get sick.
The legislation would also help to improve care and achieve our shared goal of making high-quality health care available to all by prioritizing primary and more coordinated care. In addition, the bill would reform our payment and delivery system to encourage higher quality, higher value care.
Now Congress must ensure that this legislation goes even further by making high quality health care affordable for all Americans. We will work with policymakers to strengthen the provisions that make health insurance premiums more affordable and sustainable for moderate & low-income families. We also urge Congress to strengthen consumer protections in the legislation so that consumers can be confident health plans will be held accountable and their coverage will be there for them when they need it.
The mark up of this legislation took sizeable steps towards making these reforms more meaningful for consumers. Not surprisingly, these changes sparked attacks by insurance companies. Congress must stand firm and prioritize the health and well-being of America’s families. Americans are counting on their law-makers to not only deliver health insurance reform, but to deliver reform that is meaningful.
We’re closer to the reform we need than ever before. The need is clear and the time is now. Congress must act swiftly to secure meaningful and affordable health care for all Americans.”
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a non-profit, non-partisan 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.