/PRNewswire/ -- Today's passage of health care reform in the U.S. Senate is one historic step toward fulfilling what will one day be a promise we will make to every person living in this country: If you are sick, we will care for you. You will be able to afford coverage and insurance companies will not run roughshod over you.
USAction Executive Director Jeff Blum said other steps will include final passage after conference committee, effective implementation in the years to come and beginning work on new federal and state policies to make further progress toward affordable and accessible health care coverage for everyone.
"Right now we are focusing on improving the bill in conference committee by making good health care affordable and by holding insurance companies accountable," Blum said. "But make no mistake: This is, by far, the farthest we have ever come as a nation toward providing quality, affordable health care for all."
As House and Senate negotiators prepare to meet, Blum said USAction is calling on legislators to make the following improvements in the final legislation:
Make good health care more affordable:
-- Require employers to contribute to the cost of employee coverage.
-- Pay for health care reform through progressive financing - i.e., a tax
on the very wealthiest Americans and not by imposing a tax on costlier
health plans with many older and female workers, and full family
-- Make coverage more affordable in the insurance exchange to ensure that
low- and moderate-income families can afford health insurance
Hold insurance companies accountable:
-- Create a publicly-accountable health insurance option on day one
across the United States.
-- Establish strong insurance regulations in all markets and effective
implementation of coverage through federally operated exchanges.
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