|Support NOW's Work | ||January 06, 2010 ||| Tell a Friend |
|Action Needed |
All NOW Actions
Take action NOW!
Health Care Bill Must Drop Abortion Language, Include Public Option
Public Plan Must be Included - There is a danger that the better elements of the House bill, like a public option, will be dropped and that the more conservative Senate bill's provisions -- which do not include a public plan -- will prevail. Without a strong public plan private providing competition, insurance costs will continue to rise.
Additionally, the Senate bill will allow insurers to charge older persons (perhaps as young as 40) three times as much (!) as the rate charged to younger persons, making health care costs for many middle-aged women burdensome. The Senate bill has very weak provisions to bring health care costs under control and lets employers off the hook in requiring them to provide health insurance for employees. A new tax on so-called Cadillac health insurance plans will mean that union families who have accepted these high end plans in lieu of increased wages will be taxed, and that's not fair.
Costly, but Needed Reforms - Really, the Senate legislation is the profit-driven insurance industry's dream bill, delivering more than 30 million new customers and forcing everyone to have health insurance coverage or pay a penalty. Many of those 30 million will need government subsidies in order to help pay for their coverage, and that means tax dollars will go to private insurance companies.
NOW believes that is poor public policy and says that an insurance mandate should also offer a public option. That said, there are many good and needed elements of health care reform; covering a large proportion of the 47 million uninsured population is absolutely essential. The costs to taxpayers to extend coverage and to achieve these modest reforms will be great. But it is a start -- NOW activists must keep up pressure in the future on our elected leaders to continue to improve upon these reforms -- especially now in the reconciliation process and in coming years.
Congress Must Make Changes - We agree with House progressive leaders, Reps. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) that the following major concerns must be addressed:
Support NOW's Work for Equal Rights | Join NOW | Monthly Giving | Catalog | Shop Amazon