In November, the House of Representatives passed one of the most comprehensive bills on healthcare reform since Medicare was enacted in the 1960s. Rising insurance premiums and limits on pre-existing conditions have shut millions of Americans out of obtaining health care coverage. Moreover, because of a "donut hole' in insurance coverage, elderly individuals often cannot afford medication that they desperately need. A country as great as this one should not have a healthcare system that leaves out so many.
If passed, I believe H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, will be a giant step forward in our work to provide quality, affordable health care for all Americans. The bill ends denial of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Moreover it provides for a strong and robust public option that will be able to compete with the private insurance companies. Not only will this public option be available for all Americans to purchase, this competition will result in lower premiums for all Americans. The bill could also work to reduce our nation's deficit, and could help to slow down the out-of-control growth of health care spending.
H.R. 3962 also contains other long-overdue reforms to the health insurance industry, including:
An extension of COBRA benefits for workers who lose or change jobs
Provisions to prevent price gauging on insurance premiums
Yearly caps on out-of-pocket medical expenditures
Ending co-pays for routine checkups and preventative care; and
Provisions to allow children to stay on their parents' health plan until they reach 27