WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today outlined his priorities for health care reform at a community forum sponsored by Health Care for America Now (HCAN). Brown emphasized the importance of improving the country’s health care system to meet the needs of middle class families.
“We need health reform to ensure that every American has access to high quality, affordable health coverage. Our current health coverage system, which combines public and private insurance programs, must be updated to weed out inefficiencies and close the coverage gaps. As it stands, 46 million Americans are uninsured, and that is 46 million too many.”
Brown was joined by State Senator Sue Morano (D-13); Robyn Hales, president of Northeast Ohio Alliance for Hope (NOAH); Marjorie Mosely, co-chair of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN); Becky Williams, president of SEIU local 1199; and Brian Rothenberg, executive director of Progress Ohio and a coordinator of Ohio HCAN.
"We have an opportunity to solve one of the last great social injustices in America -- lack of access to affordable health care. Sen. Brown is leading the movement to fix it now and have a public option that will give all Americans coverage and a choice of insurers. Ohioans understand that this is our moment and this is the time to get this done,” said Rothenberg at the event.
Other health care organizations in attendance included ACORN Ohio, Ohio Faith and Democracy Collaborative, Progress Ohio, AFSCME, Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Alliance of Retired Americans, Children’s Defense Fund, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, National Physicians Alliance, Ohio Academy of Pediatrics, Ohio AFL-CIO, Ohio Council of Churches, Ohio Education Association, Ohio Nurses Association, Planned Parenthood, SEIU, and UHCAN Ohio.
Brown, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (H.E.L.P.) committee, is a leading voice in Congress on health care issues. In March, Brown held a forum to discuss expanding access to cancer clinical trials. Brown discussed introduced the Cancer Clinical Trials Act, a bill he authored which would expand coverage for cancer patients participating in clinical trials to maximize treatment options. More information on the forum and bill can be found here and here.
Brown also successfully fought for the economic recovery package to include provisions from his original legislation, the Coverage Continuity Act, which he wrote to help displaced workers maintain health coverage. The recovery package provides a 65 percent federal subsidy to help displaced workers afford temporary COBRA health coverage in the recovery package. More information on Brown’s work to increase COBRA affordability can be found here.