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Issue Position: Affordable, Quality Health Care

Issue Position

Location: Unknown

Too many families in Connecticut struggle to get affordable, quality health care. Over the last decade, insurance premiums doubled, and are projected to double again over the next ten years. We have to continue to work to lower health care costs while preserving choice and quality care.

Protect and improve the new health care reform. There are strong improvements in the new health care reform law, such as preventing insurance companies from denying coverage of pre-existing conditions, ending lifetime limits on coverage, lowering costs for small businesses, and making sure you have coverage that can never be taken away. Although the new law is far from perfect, it would be a mistake to repeal it. Instead we should build on the reforms and improve them -- particularly when it comes to making health care more affordable for the middle class and containing sky-rocketing costs.

I support the bi-partisan repeal of the 1099 filing mandate, signed by President Obama, and believe it demonstrates that we can improve the law as needed without gutting or repealing it.

Modernize the system and lower costs. We should continue to modernize information technology to reduce medical errors, bureaucratic red tape, and burdensome duplication. This will help to not only save millions of dollars but also save lives.

Lower prescription drug costs through Medicare. We can significantly lower the cost of prescription drugs for seniors by allowing Medicare to use its negotiating power to get a better deal -- just like any insurance plan does and just like the VA does today.

Reduce prescription drug costs by eliminating direct advertising to consumers. U.S. drug costs are exceptionally high, in part due to the misguided decision in 1997 to allow drug companies to advertise prescription drugs directly to consumers. The result has been airwaves and magazines full of advertisements that have done nothing to improve our health and have only added to health care costs. We should end this policy now.

Require paid sick leave. In Congress I will fight for a national law requiring paid sick leave. I support the new law in Connecticut and believe it should be the model for a national measure. The new law exempts small businesses under 50 employees and, unlike earlier versions that failed to pass, achieves the right balance of protecting workers without hurting small businesses, which are the key to job creation and growing our economy.

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