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Snippets from the Steering Committee Forum

I attended the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee Forum on the Urgent Need for Health Care Reform this morning, where two panels testified for Speaker Pelosi, Chairmen Rangel, Waxman, and Miller, Chairwomen Slaughter and DeLauro, and a number of Representatives including Dingel, Kucinich, and Bacera among others. Needless to say it was a full house. The Panelists included Presidents/CEOs/Chairs of the Commonwealth Fund, Small Business Majority, AMA (docs), AHA (hospitals), ANA (nurses), and AARP. The focus of the testimony surrounded provisions in the House bill HR 3200, of which all of these organizations now have unequivocally endorsed. Below are some quotes from the Forum.

“Regarding the bill’s CBO cost projections, it is worth noting that for the past three decades their health legislation estimates have consistently underestimated savings and overestimated costs.”
Karen Davis, President, Commonwealth Fund

“23 million of the uninsured are or are a dependent of a small business employee, and they will pay nearly $2.4 trillion in premiums over the next 10 years. HR 3200 will cut this by two thirds.”
John Arensmeyer, Founder and CEO, Small Business Majority

“67% of small businesses support shared responsibility; 83% support barring pre-existing exclusion; 81% support a Health Insurance Exchange to compare plans and prices….and these individuals are overwhelmingly Republicans and Independents.”
John Arensmeyer, Founder and CEO, Small Business Majority

“A NEJM study released yesterday shows that 62.9% of physicians support a public plan option.”

J. James Rohack, MD, President of the American Medical Association (AMA)

“A possible alternative to the public plan option, also endorsed by the AMA, is a buy-in option for the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program (FEHBP, ie Congress’ insurance) with tax credits.”
J. James Rohack, MD, President of the American Medical Association (AMA)

“Health insurance is a local service, and interstate sale of insurance (ie Baucus Framework) won’t work because of differing state consumer protections and regulation while adding substantial administrative complexity.”
Wendell Potter, Former chief corporate spokesman, CIGNA Corporation

and my personal favorite…

“You might as well call Baucus’ Framework the Health Insurance Industry Profit Preservation Act”
Wendell Potter, Former chief corporate spokesman, CIGNA Corporation

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