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Sen. Max Baucus: Answer 10 Questions About Mandatory Purchase of Health Insurance Including Why the Public Was Excluded From Today's Committee Meeting
Date:5/14/2009

WASHINGTON, May 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Senate Finance Committee, in closed-door health care discussions today, must answer ten questions about how its plan to require all Americans to show proof of insurance or face tax penalties will provide affordable health care, said Consumer Watchdog.

Questions listed below. Download Consumer Watchdog's letter to Senator Baucus here: http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org/resources/BaucusClosedMeeting.pdf

In a letter to Senator Baucus sent today, Consumer Watchdog wrote:

"Americans should not be locked out of any discussion about health care reform, particularly one that will consider whether everyone should be required to buy health insurance policies without any limits on what insurers can charge. Mandatory purchases of private insurance policies without offering a public alternative to the private market is nothing other than a bailout for HMOs -- whose greed, waste and indifference to our health have created the current mess.

"There's no mention of cost-cutting in the Senate Finance Committee's 'policy options' document being discussed in today's closed meeting -- no regulation of HMO premiums, no limits on how much consumers will have to pay out of their own pocket in co-pays or deductibles."

Earlier this week, the Senate Finance Committee circulated a "policy options" white paper to be discussed in today's meeting, which excludes members of the media and public. The senate finance document makes the president's promised "public option" to the private insurance market optional, and does not include cost controls.

Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has receiv
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SOURCE Consumer Watchdog
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