The Center for American Progress Action Fund released the following statement from John Podesta, CEO and President of CAPAF, on the Senate HELP Committee’s passage of the Affordable Health Choices Act.
“I commend the committee, under the extraordinary leadership of Sen. Chris Dodd, for its passage of the Affordable Health Choices Act.
“This bill represents the real change that Americans want. The opponents of reform would stand by as our employer-based health care system unravels, leaving millions of Americans at risk of losing the insurance they currently have. By contrast, this bill would shore up the current system and let Americans who like their heath insurance keep it while providing hard-working Americans with more choice and stability.
“This historic legislation includes the most important elements necessary for meaningful health care reform: It ends abusive health insurance company practices like denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions; it fosters competition and lowers premiums through the creation of a public health insurance option; it lowers the cost for small businesses to provide coverage to their employees by establishing a health insurance exchange; it improves wellness and reduces spending on prescriptions drugs and medical treatment by focusing on preventive care; it extends subsidies to low- and middle-income Americans who cannot afford coverage; and it includes employer and individual mandates that make the goal of universal coverage a reality.
“I applaud Senator Dodd and all the members of the HELP Committee who worked to craft this solid piece of legislation and vote it out of committee. Today is a great day for the cause of health care reform—together with the strong draft proposal put forward by the House on Tuesday, it is clear that Congress is moving toward the reform we need to lift the burden of health care costs that are crushing America’s families and businesses and dragging down our economy."
John Podesta is the President and CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund