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DNC Chairman Kaine Joins President Obama in Calling on Congress to Finish the Job, Pass Health Insurance Reform
Date:3/3/2010

"Final March For Reform" Begins Today, Says Chairman Kaine

WASHINGTON, March 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tim Kaine today echoed the President's call for Congress to take swift action to finish the job and deliver hard-working Americans the health insurance reforms they so desperately need.

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"Today, the President outlined the way forward on health insurance reform and called on Congress to act with dispatch to pass historic and long overdue reforms to our country's health insurance system," said Kaine. "Almost a year has passed since this process began, marking another year that American families and businesses have struggled under the budget-breaking reality of sky-rocketing health insurance costs, another year in which insurance companies have made decisions based on their bottom lines rather than the health of the American people and another year in which millions of Americans lack any coverage at all. Today, the President made clear what most Americans know all too well: we cannot delay any longer. The final march for reform begins now.

"Fortunately, there seems to be widespread agreement across the political spectrum that we must enact reform this year. And, as President Obama's health care summit demonstrated last week, there are a number of areas of agreement between the parties on what steps must be taken to address critical problems within our health insurance system. Where possible, the President has sought to incorporate Republican ideas into his proposal and I don't believe anyone could argue in good faith that this President has made anything less than a sincere effort at bipartisanship.

"At the same time, President Obama is one hundred percent right to disagree with the Republicans' approach of maintaining the status quo which allows insurance companies to call all the shots instead of patients and doctors - leaving consumers vulnerable to discrimination and denial of coverage. Absent the critical consumer protections the President has proposed, insurance companies would still have the freedom to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions and to raise premiums on struggling Americans without cause or explanation. That is simply unacceptable.

"Republican leaders from Michael Steele to Mitch McConnell have said that they will hold Democrats responsible for these reforms come November. I hope they do. If Republican leaders want to campaign on the belief that there is nothing wrong with the way insurance companies currently do business, then that's a fight Democrats are ready to have.

"President Obama has clearly laid out the much needed changes his proposal will make and the American people deserve an up-or-down vote on these critical reforms. And today, I am proud to stand firmly with the President in calling on each and every member of the United States Congress to join us on this final march for reform."

The President's plan when signed into law will do three things:

First, it would end the worst practices of insurance companies. No longer would insurers be able to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition or drop your coverage because you got sick. And they wouldn't be able to charge unlimited amounts for out of pocket expenses or arbitrarily raise premiums.

Second, it would give small businesses and people who don't get insurance at work the same choice of private health insurance that Members of Congress will get. And for those who still can't afford insurance in this new marketplace, the plan will offer tax credits based on income to purchase coverage.

Third, the President's proposal would bring down the cost of health care for millions – for families, businesses, and the federal government – and it would extend the life of Medicare and go after waste and abuse while reducing errors and improving care for people.

SOURCE Democratic National Committee

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SOURCE Democratic National Committee
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