Brown Joins Rockefeller to Introduce Bill Detailing Public Health Plan Option

Senators Outline Proposal to Expand Health Care Coverage

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), today joined Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) to introduce the Consumers Health Care Act. The legislation would establish a public health insurance plan that provides an affordable and accountable health insurance option for consumers.

“Congress must include a real public plan option if we want to see truly transformative health care reform this year,” said Rockefeller. “I created the Consumers Health Care Act so we can give the American people the complete coverage they need at an affordable rate. As we move forward with health care reform in the Senate Finance Committee and beyond, I will continue to fight for a public plan option. It is time to end our days of private health insurance charging too much for too little, at the expense of the American people.”

“A strong public health insurance option will help reduce health care costs and improve the quality of health insurance plans,” said Brown, who authored a resolution cosponsored by 28 senators calling for a public health insurance option to be included in health reform. “A public health insurance option will keep insurance companies honest and set a gold standard for medical care. I’m proud to work with Sen. Rockefeller on this legislation which will protect consumer choice, improve patient care, and lower health costs.”

President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and many consumer-advocate and health care organizations have come out in support of a public plan option in health reform. Over 60 percent of Americans also want to see a public plan option on the table (source: Kaiser Family Foundation, June, 2009).

The Consumers Health Care Act has been endorsed by many groups including Health Care for American Now (HCAN), the Children’s Defense Fund, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Overview of the Consumers Health Care Act

- Offer a “Consumer Choice Health Plan” as an option alongside private insurance.  By bringing a competitive public plan option to the table, private insurance companies will be driven to provide Americans with better value for their health care at a better price, in contrast to the current private insurance framework, which is focused on avoiding risk and increasing their profits. 

- Establish America’s Health Insurance Trust as a “good housekeeping seal of approval” to give consumers a voice in health insurance oversight.  This nonprofit, consumer-driven organization will evaluate and give ratings to all health insurance products offered through the national health insurance exchange – based on factors such as affordability, adequacy, transparency, consumer satisfaction, provider satisfaction, and quality.

The Consumers Health Care Health Care Act can be found by clicking here.

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