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A Promise to Keep. Senate Vote is the First Step Toward the Promise of Quality, Affordable Health Care for All

WASHINGTON, Dec. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today's passage of health care reform in the U.S. Senate is one historic step toward fulfilling what will one day be a promise we will make to every person living in this country: If you are sick, we will care for you. You will be able to afford coverage and insurance companies will not run roughshod over you.

USAction Executive Director Jeff Blum said other steps will include final passage after conference committee, effective implementation in the years to come and beginning work on new federal and state policies to make further progress toward affordable and accessible health care coverage for everyone.

"Right now we are focusing on improving the bill in conference committee by making good health care affordable and by holding insurance companies accountable," Blum said. "But make no mistake: This is, by far, the farthest we have ever come as a nation toward providing quality, affordable health care for all."

As House and Senate negotiators prepare to meet, Blum said USAction is calling on legislators to make the following improvements in the final legislation:

Make good health care more affordable:

  • Require employers to contribute to the cost of employee coverage.
  • Pay for health care reform through progressive financing - i.e., a tax on the very wealthiest Americans and not by imposing a tax on costlier health plans with many older and female workers, and full family coverage.
  • Make coverage more affordable in the insurance exchange to ensure that low- and moderate-income families can afford health insurance coverage.

Hold insurance companies accountable:

  • Create a publicly-accountable health insurance option on day one across the United States.
  • Establish strong insurance regulations in all markets and effective implementation of coverage through federally operated exchanges.

USAction co-founded Health Care for America Now, the nation's largest health care reform campaign, and co-chairs its steering committee. Since May, USAction and its affiliates and partners in 28 states organized or supported more 363 town hall meetings and forums on health care and generated 389,028 grassroots contacts to Congress, including phone calls, letters, faxes, emails and petitions.


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