Donna Christensen

Supporting the Affordable Health Care Act - July 22, 2009

Donna Christensen
July 22, 2009— Washington, D.C.
Press Conference
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Thank you. I'm Donna Christensen. I'm a family physician, and I serve here in the Congress. Thank you, Chairman Larson, for your strong leadership and support for historic change in reforming our dysfunctional and broken healthcare system and to bring equality, comprehensive, and culturally and linguistically appropriate care to every person in this country. I'm proud to be here with my colleagues Nurse Capps, Psychologist Dr. Chu, as well as my fellow physicians—Dr. McDermott, Dr. Snyder, Dr. Kagen—and the others who have joined us…all of the doctors and nurses who've joined us…including two who I will introduce to you shortly. We are about to bring stable, affordable, reliable, and quality health insurance coverage to the more than 46 million Americans currently uninsured and the millions more who are under or intermittently insured. With the America's Affordable Health Choices Act, we will go beyond just coverage to include needed insurance reforms: affordability, caps on out-of-pocket spending, no lifetime caps on coverage, prevention services without co-pays, no more rescissions, no exclusions for preexisting disease. Other reforms, of course, include a robust public plan that will not only increase choices, but will compete and compete fairly with private plans, while not providing a place for businesses to dump those they don't want to cover. Again, those who have insurance and are happy with it can keep it. Businesses will be discouraged from dropping coverage, and small businesses will get help to insure their employees, who make up more than 60 percent of all workers in this country. But we cannot and will not allow the people of this country to be held hostage by an industry to protect their profit at the expense of the people of this country and at the expense of their health care. Though we know that insurance is not the only remedy, it's needed. Its services need to be improved, to be made accessible and available. Reimbursements need to be made adequate and fair. Efficiencies need to be implemented. Care needs to be coordinated. We need to increase our primary care providers including the diversity of those providers. Prevention needs to take center stage, and racial, ethnic, gender, zip code, and sexual orientation disparities need to be eliminated. This bill is addressing all of this. And we're still working to improve its strength, including insuring parity for the U.S. territories. There's a lot of misinformation out there. But as health providers in this Congress, we are committed to making this the best bill that it can be for the public, for the providers, and for our country. We will get it done, and we'll get it done this year as the president has asked us to do. Those of us who are health care providers have dedicated our lives to the well-being of the people in the communities we serve, and that's why we support this bill. The American people have asked for it and voted for it. They deserve it and they need it, and they need it now.

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