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Senate Finance Committee measure shows promise as a starting point for bipartisan health reform

WASHINGTON, D.C. — “With so much at stake, and so many stakeholders, reform of the American health care system must be undertaken thoughtfully and cooperatively. We congratulate Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus for his tireless work the past several months and on today’s release ofThe America’s Healthy Future Act, which is not a perfect bill but represents a critical step toward a comprehensive solution to the nation’s health care problems,” said American Benefits Council President James A. Klein.

“Importantly, the Senate Finance Committee proposal avoids many of the destabilizing provisions included in other legislative proposals, such as the employer ‘pay’ or ‘play’ mandate, unlimited state law remedies for employers obtaining coverage within the insurance exchanges, federal waivers to states that enact single-payer systems and the public health insurance option,” Klein said.

“The Council continues to have concerns with certain key aspects of this measure, such as the complicated and costly excise tax, other fees on health insurers and other stakeholders and the tax on valuable prescription drug coverage for retirees. These costs are all likely to eventually be paid by employers and employees and would therefore make health care less affordable,” Klein said.

“The most successful and enduring public initiatives are those that are developed and approved with broad bipartisan support. The House of Representatives tri-committee bill and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee bill do not meet this standard, but the Senate Finance Committee proposal offers reason for optimism that broad agreement on health care reform may be possible this year,” Klein said. “We will continue to work with the Senate Finance Committee and other lawmakers to make that possibility a reality and we applaud Chairman Baucus for his continued efforts.”

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September 16, 2009 - Posted by | Federal Government, healthcare | , ,

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