November 12, 2009
NCL praised the United States House of Representatives for its passage of the Affordable Health Care for America Act.
Release Date: November 12, 2009
Washington, DC-The National Consumers League, the nation's oldest consumer group, applauds the United States House of Representatives' historic passage of the health reform bill, HR 3200. Since the 1930s NCL has supported universal health care for all Americans. This legislation is a milestone toward that goal.
“We recognize substantively reforming our health care system is no easy task, and we support lawmakers’ efforts to unite stakeholders and work towards a higher quality system that is more patient-centered and cost-effective,” said Sally Greenberg, NCL Executive Director. “We look forward to the final law, which should ensure that effective and efficient care of the highest quality is accessible by all Americans.”
Key provisions of The Affordable Health Care for America Act include:
- prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions, imposing annual or lifetime benefit limits, or cancelling a policy when someone files expensive claims.
- creating an “exchange” in each state where individuals and eligible small businesses could shop for insurance policies.
- offering of a public insurance plan to compete with private companies.
- expanding coverage to several million uninsured, including those who may not be able to obtain coverage through their employer or who may not have previously qualified for government programs.
- expanding eligibility for Medicaid to individuals and families with incomes up to 150 percent of the poverty level.
- reducing payments under the Medicare Advantage program, and enhancing the Medicare prescription drug program by phasing out a coverage gap.
For decades, NCL has been dedicated to achieving quality improvements to America’s health care system. In the 1930s, NCL’s Josephine Roche authored the first universal health care proposal and today, NCL is at the forefront of advocating for comprehensive health reform with legislation that is patient-centered and cost-efficient. NCL recently issued a statement calling the lack of comprehensive health care coverage “America’s albatross,” making our businesses less competitive and our workers less healthy. “We need to put partisan concerns aside and work NOW to ensure that the system is reformed. The cost of doing nothing is unthinkable.”
“We need to address why we are overpaying for care that is not making us healthier. Health reform will move us towards greater accountability, efficiency, accessibility, transparency, and quality,” said Greenberg. “It is essential that everyone have access to affordable health care or the system will remain broken.”
For more information about NCL’s work in health, visit www.nclnet.org/health.
About the National Consumers League
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.