All three House committees have passed health reform bills. The Senate Health committee has passed its bill, and the Senate Finance panel is working hard on developing its plan. Let's use this August recess in Washington to make sure members know we want them to keep moving forward on good reform!
Each day we stop moving forward means another day of lobbying from the giant insurance industry, which opposes key reforms. Opponents don't want tough new rules to make coverage more affordable and fair, and they don't want new competition that may force them to treat you better and lower their prices.
Tell your member to keep up the momentum for getting Americans affordable, reliable health coverage this year.
I urge you to vote YES on health reform when it comes up for a full floor vote, and fulfill the promise this year of getting all Americans access to good, affordable, reliable health coverage.
I want health care 'peace of mind' by knowing that I will always be able to get a good health insurance plan that I can afford, even if I lose my job or hit a rough financial patch. Please make sure the bill you support requires that insurers set a limit on how much we owe 'out-of-pocket' in any one year. And that it requires all insurance policies cover major medical needs when we get sick, with no denials for pre-existing conditions.
Reform is our chance to also insist on better quality of care. Today in America, a person dies about every five minutes from largely preventable hospital acquired infections. Thousands of others die each year from medical errors. A reform bill should help consumers by giving us information on the infection rates of hospitals and the quality of the providers that we visit, and by not using our tax dollars to pay for care that is substandard.
Reform also will help us improve prevention. I pay more today for health care because doctors and hospitals must cover the costs of the 46 million people without insurance. People without insurance often delay getting early treatment for an illness or put off preventive care, and as a result, they are harder to treat and we all end up paying more. Focusing on prevention will help us avoid the catastrophic costs associated with diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, and result in a healthier nation.
But the answer isn't leaving our coverage solely to the giant insurance companies -- that will do nothing to bring down spiraling health costs. Private insurance companies have controlled our health coverage for decades, and costs have spiraled out of control, putting decent insurance out of reach for millions of hard-working Americans.
Reform should give real financial help to those hard-working families who don't get health insurance through their jobs, and can't afford to buy a policy and still make ends meet. And it should offer real choice: In addition to employer-based coverage and private insurance offerings, it should include a public insurance option that will always be there when I need it, and force insurance companies to aggressively compete, lowering our costs and improving the overall standard of care.
I urge you to vote in support of health reform when you return from recess this fall. I can't wait any longer for affordable, decent health coverage, and to finally have some peace of mind about my, and my family's, health care.