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PhRMA, Families USA Jointly Promote Measures to Ensure Quality, Affordable Healthcare Coverage
Date:4/21/2009

WASHINGTON, April 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and the national consumer health organization Families USA today unveiled a campaign to promote three key policies designed to help achieve high-quality, affordable health coverage for all Americans.

PhRMA and Families USA will work together and will reach out to other stakeholders to ensure that these policies are incorporated in the healthcare reform proposals to be considered this year. The two groups' efforts will include an advertising campaign and grassroots mobilization.

"Although our views do not always converge, we share a common belief about a fundamental goal of healthcare reform: Every American deserves high-quality, affordable health coverage and care," said PhRMA President and CEO Billy Tauzin and Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollack.

With this goal in mind, PhRMA and Families USA have partnered together to promote three essential elements of healthcare reform.

First, the two organizations will promote the establishment of a nationwide Medicaid eligibility floor at 133 percent of the federal poverty level -- almost $24,400 in annual income for a family of three. In 43 states, childless adults are currently ineligible for Medicaid even if they are literally penniless.

Second, we propose providing sliding-scale subsidies to moderate-income people who earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid but can't afford insurance premiums. Such subsidies are crucial for the purchase of healthcare in a reformed insurance market. A similar system exists today in Massachusetts.

Third, PhRMA and Families USA will seek a meaningful cap on out-of-pocket health expenditures so that no family is unable to afford essential care. This will also protect families against bankruptcy due to their need for major care.

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SOURCE Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America; Families USA
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