Richard Kirsch, national campaign manager for pro-reform organization Health Care for America Now, issued a statement this afternoon following the Senate Finance Committee's 14-9 vote to pass health insurance reform legislation out of committee. Here's the full text:
The end of the Senate Finance Committee's process marks the beginning of the next phase - crafting a strong bill that goes to the Senate floor. The HELP Committee bill offers a better path forward in the Senate than the Finance Committee bill.
The Senate Finance Committee bill falls short on making insurance affordable to America's families, gives employers a "free ride," and does not create meaningful competition in the insurance market with a strong national public health insurance option. The HELP bill makes health insurance affordable to families through subsidies, lowers the cost of insurance with a public health insurance option, and promotes shared responsibility with an employer requirement to contribute to coverage.
We're closer than ever to achieving a guarantee of good, affordable health care for America's families and businesses, and we're counting on Senators to put their constituents ahead of the big insurers and vote for real reform.