Tri-Committee Chairmen Joint Statement on Introduction of Health Reform Bill to Provide Quality, Affordable Health Care for All Americans
Today, leaders of the Committees with jurisdiction over health policy, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sander M. Levin (D-MI), and Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller (D-CA), issued the following joint statement upon introduction of comprehensive health reform legislation:
"In the coming days, the House will take an up or down vote to improve the lives of tens of millions of American families and small businesses owners. The important reforms in this bill will end the worst insurance industry practices of denying care because of preexisting conditions, cutting off treatments due to annual or lifetime limits, or increasing premiums to pad the insurance companies' bottom lines. Health reform will improve the fiscal health of our nation, reducing our deficit by $130 billion in the first ten years and more than $1 trillion over the second decade.
"Our legislation will make critical improvements to the Senate bill - protecting the working class from the tax on high-value (Cadillac) health insurance plans, increasing affordability for lower and middle income individuals and families, ending the Nebraska carve-out to ensure equitable treatment for all states under Medicaid, increasing payments to primary care services for Medicaid to ensure patients' access to doctors, and holding all insurance companies responsible for following these new rules. This reform effort will also save taxpayer money in premiums and cost-sharing, while also strengthening Medicare and extending its solvency.
"Congress now has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fix two broken systems - health insurance and student loans - that are bankrupting America's families. This health reform vote has been more than 70 years in the making, spanning generations of families, political leaders, and advocates who have fought to make the dream of having and keeping quality, affordable health insurance a reality. This is a moment of truth for historic reform of the most compelling importance for all the American people. With this legislation, we rise to meet it and ensure quality affordable health insurance, at long last, for all American families."
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