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Rangel Takes Lead on Health Reform

Jul 15, 2009

Historic legislation will reduce out-of-control costs, improve choices for patients, and expand access to quality, affordable health care.

Democratic leaders joined Congressman Charles Rangel Tuesday in announcing healthcare legislation that will provide affordable, quality care for the vast majority of all Americans.

“Reforming America’s health care system to control costs and improve access to quality affordable care is not only the moral thing to do, it is also critical to our economic recovery and the long-term fiscal health of our nation,” said the Ways and Means Chairman in introducing the American Affordable Health Choices Act with the House Leadership jointly with the Committees on Education & Labor and Energy & Commerce

As Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rangel has worked diligently with the White House and his Congressional colleagues to develop a solution that puts patients – not profits – first, while reducing the burden of ballooning health care costs on American families, businesses and our fiscal future.

President Barack Obama thanked Rangel and the other committee chairs for their continuing efforts.

"I thank Chairmen Rangel, Waxman, and Miller for their hard work on this bill that fundamentally reforms the health care system," said the President in a statement. "As this process moves forward, I look forward to continuing to work with all House members in ensuring this legislation helps all Americans and plays an essential role in reducing deficits and bringing fiscal sustainability to our nation.”

The announcement comes one day after Rangel met with President Obama to advance the White House's overall goals of strengthening employer-provided care while fixing what is broken. The proposed legislation is consistent the President's agenda by ensuring that 97 percent of Americans will be covered by a health care plan that affordably offers quality and standard benefits.

Rangel has consistently promised that he would do all he could to meet the President's summer deadline for an agreement.

"There's an urgent need to get something done because real lives are at stake," said Rangel. "Thousands of Americans are depending on us to give them options, to give them hope that they won't have to go out into the working world worried that a slip here or a headache there will lead to a lifetime of bills, heartache or worse."


FULFILLING THE PROMISE OF UNIVERSAL CARE


Rangel said that the plan announced by Democrats is a strong starting point to protect what works in our health care system and put the nation back on the path to prosperity and fiscal responsibility.

“This plan tells every American – if you have coverage and a doctor you like, keep it,” said Rangel. “If you don’t, this plan will help you find and afford quality care.”

The comprehensive proposal promises to specifically:


LOWER COSTS FOR CONSUMERS

 

  • No more co-pays or deductibles for preventive care
  • An annual cap on out-of-pocket expenses—keeping Americans from financial ruin
     
  • An end to rate increases for pre-existing conditions, gender or occupation.
     
  • Group rates of a national pool if you buy your own plan
     
  • Guaranteed affordable oral health, hearing and vision care for kids


PROVIDE GREATER CHOICE

 

  • If you like your doctor and current plan you can keep them
  • More choice, with a public health insurance option competing with private insurers


PROVIDE STABILITY & PEACE OF MIND
 

  • End to denials for pre-existing conditions like heart disease, cancer or diabetes
  • Get needed care, no lifetime limits
  • Job and life choices no longer based on health care coverage


OFFER HIGHER QUALITY CARE

  • Doctors, not insurance giants, in charge
  • More family doctors and nurses entering the workforce, helping to guarantee access
  • Benefits must include mental health


ONLINE LINKS

Click on the links below for more information on the Democrats' plan for health care reform:

General Questions and Answers
What’s in the health care reform bill for you?
The cost of inaction
Myth vs. Fact on health care reform
Strengthening Medicare

Energy & Commerce Clearinghouse
Ed & Labor Clearinghouse:
Ways & Means Clearinghouse
HTML Summary of the Bill
PDF Summary of the Bill
Bill text
President’s Statement