FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Americans Will Lose If Senate Passes Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization & Affordability Act
Senate HELP Committee Let Nation Down Today by Passing Bill that Would Erase Important Consumer Protections
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, DC — March 15, 2006 — “Despite the tremendous need to make health care more affordable, today the Senate HELP Committee put access to affordable health care even further out of reach when it approved S.1995, the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization & Affordability Act for a full Senate vote. This bill wo uld preempt stronger state laws that limit the ability of insurers to charge higher premiums based on health status, age, gender, geography and business size.
While cast as an alternative to the Association Health Plan (AHP) legislation, this proposal has an even broader and more perilous reach, erasing important consumer protections in the individual, small group and large group health insurance markets. This bill would cost women and families direct access to obstetricians/ gynecologists, as well as jeopardize coverage for contraception, and osteoporosis, breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening. Older Americans and those with complex health needs and disabilities are likely to suffer most. For these reasons, 36 of the nation’s leading medical, labor and advocacy groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Diabetes
Association, American Nurses Association and United Cerebral Palsy, have joined us in opposing this bill.
As health care costs continue to increase, women are often the ones making difficult choices about how to make ends meet. It is critical that we find ways to make health care more affordable. S.1955, which would strip away vital consumer protections and make coverage more expensive for those who need it the most, is not the solution. This bill has particularly grave implications for women and children, and we urge Senators on both sides of the aisle to oppose this proposal.”
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.