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Coakley Tours Lynn Community Health Center, Calls for Meaningful Health Care Reform

Press Release

Location: Lynn, MA

Martha Coakley toured the Lynn Community Health Center today and reiterated her call for meaningful health care reform. Coakley noted that community health centers like Lynn's are critical to ensuring quality, affordable health care.

After touring the facility, Coakley renewed her call for meaningful health care reform. Coakley is the only candidate for U.S. Senate to support such reform. Coakley called for:

* strong consumer protections that would prevent insurers from being allowed to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions;
* cost controls that encourage preventive care and reduce administrative costs;
* payment reform that changes the fee-for-service models that reward hospitals for performing more procedures rather than for achieving a high quality of care;
* the protection of social security and Medicare; and,
* the elimination of excess government subsidies so that we can lower out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs.

"It is absolutely critical that our next Senator supports legislation that will increase access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans," said Coakley. "It is important not only for the millions of Americans who do not have health insurance, but also for the millions more who have health insurance but are being squeezed by skyrocketing costs. As Senator, I will continue to support community health centers, like here in Lynn, because these centers are on the front lines of our efforts to provide quality, affordable health care."

Coakley has an extensive record of holding drug and insurance companies accountable for misleading consumers and driving up costs. Coakley's accomplishments In June 2009, Coakley filed a suit against drug maker Wyeth for avoiding paying hundreds of millions of dollars in rebates to state Medicaid programs. In October 2008, Coakley secured $2.5 million for Massachusetts in a $60 million, multi-state settlement with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer for the company's deceptive campaign to promote drugs for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Also in October 2008, Coakley secured $1.6 million for Massachusetts in a $62 million, multi-state settlement with pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly to resolve allegations of improper marketing of the drug Zyprexa. In May 2008, Coakley secured $1.64 million for Massachusetts in a $58 million, multi-state settlement with pharmaceutical giant Merck for the company's deceptive advertising for the drug Vioxx. Much of the settlement money Coakley secured for Massachusetts was set aside to help low-income and disabled consumers of prescription medications, as well as local consumer education programs.

Coakley became Massachusetts' first female Attorney General in January 2007. Since then, she has established herself as a leader on a variety of issues affecting Massachusetts residents, including addressing the foreclosure crisis that has plagued so many families. She has a proven track record of taking on Wall Street and protecting consumers, recovering record settlements in enforcement actions from companies such as Goldman Sachs and Fremont Investment and Loan for violating consumer protection laws. As part of her Cyber Crime Initiative, Coakley revolutionized the tools available to prosecutors for fighting crime in the 21st century, ensuring that Massachusetts is on the cutting edge of public safety.

Coakley, 56, was raised in North Adams. She is a graduate of Williams College in Williamstown, MA, where she was a member of the first class admitted to the college that included female students. She received her law degree from Boston University School of Law in 1979. Coakley resides in Medford with her husband, Thomas F. O'Connor, a retired police Deputy Superintendent.

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