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Public Statements

Issue Position: Health Insurance Reform

Issue Position

Location: Unknown

Securing Quality Affordable Care for North Carolinians

Every president since Franklin Roosevelt has tried to address the problem of providing meaningful health care to United States citizens who need it. Sixty years later we are left with a disjointed, dysfunctional and wasteful system that does little to improve the health of citizens. Today, we are closer than ever to fixing this broken system, and we cannot let this moment pass without action.

The United States is the wealthiest country in the world. As people and lawmakers we have a moral imperative to provide access to adequate healthcare for all of our citizens. We cannot afford to sit idle while an ever-growing percentage of working families' income goes to health care. As a country trying to fix a broken economy, we need to remove the burden of exploding health care costs from our businesses and families. Further Congress must not impose on middle class American families a tax on their employer-provided health insurance coverage as part of reform.

Effective health insurance reform puts our budget and economy on a more stable path by reducing the deficit by $100 billion over the next ten years -- and about $1 trillion over the second decade -- by cutting government overspending and reining in waste, fraud and abuse.

I believe effective health insurance reform legislation must include:

* End discrimination against Americans with pre-existing conditions.
* No exorbitant out of pocket expenses, deductibles, or co-pays. Health insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses.
* Create a public health insurance option to provide more choice and drive down costs for consumers by creating competition in the industry now holding Americans hostage to spiraling costs.
* No gender discrimination.
* No annual or lifetime caps on coverage.
* Extended coverage for young adults. Children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.
* Close the Medicare Part D "doughnut hole."
* Allow Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies to reduce costs.

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