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Making the Bill Better

December 24th, 2009, 10:12 pm admin Leave a comment Go to comments

While it’s been an easy, and misleading, shorthand to say that the “left of the left” wants to kill the bill, there’s actually been more of a focus on making the bill better. To that end, Roger Hickey from Campaign for America’s Future, has some good suggestions:

As co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future and one of the founders of Health Care for America Now, my job is to keep pushing – so that the conference between the Senate and the House produces a better bill,

   * one that makes health insurance more affordable,

   * requires corporations to cover their workers,

   * and gives Americans alternatives to buying private health insurance.

And it is my duty to warn the Congress and the White House about the flaws in the bill that could cause millions of Americans to rebel against their health reform in the 2010 elections, the way seniors rebelled against the costly Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988 and got it repealed the very next year, damaging Ways and Means Committee Chair Dan Rostenkowski and endangering many Democrats.

So I am trying to get today’s Democrats to understand that

   * if they force Americans to purchase health insurance, it better be affordable, and

   * taxing middle-class health insurance policies is a formula for political disaster. For more information on this battle, go to www.nomiddleclasshealthtax.com.

To that end, HCAN is pushing this grassroots effort: Let’s Finish Reform Right, pushing these two goals:

  1. Make GOOD health care affordable

Low and middle income families must be able to afford health insurance, and employers must be asked to provide good health coverage for their employees so health care is affordable at work. Health care should not be paid for with a tax on health benefits.

  1. Hold insurance companies accountable

If the insurance companies win, we lose. Insurance companies must be held accountable with strong regulations and consumer protections, and we must be given the choice of a national public health insurance option available on day one across the United States.

Those are key suggestions for improving this bill and pushing it much closer to what could really be called reform.

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