Put people over profits

Recently, the national Chamber of Commerce and big health insurance companies have been running television ads across New Hampshire attacking me and the health-care plan I was proud to support a few weeks ago.Their attacks are full of false claims meant to mislead New Hampshire families. The current health-care system is broken. While costs for middle-class families have soared, the big insurance companies have made exorbitant profits and paid millions to their CEOs. The status quo has allowed insurance companies to ride high on the backs of hard-working, middle-class Americans who are trying to make ends meet.The plan I voted for will help families afford quality health insurance. This plan will lower costs, increase access to care, and put families back in control of their health insurance. It will put basic rules of the road on insurance companies to make sure they can’t drop your insurance when you get sick or deny you coverage for pre-existing conditions.It will end lifetime caps so when Americans get sick, they can get the care that they’ve paid for. It will create a public health insurance option to compete with health insurance companies, resulting in lower costs for New Hampshire families. It will protect and preserve Medicare for our seniors, significantly reducing their out-of-pocket costs.This plan won’t add one dime to the federal deficit, and it will not raise taxes on middle class families.The insurance companies and their allies in New Hampshire want to preserve the status quo. They want to let the insurance companies drop your coverage when you get sick. They want to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. Their plan is not reform. It will eliminate crucial New Hampshire consumer protections that require insurance companies to cover health services like pre-natal care, pregnancy care and ob-gyn coverage. Their plan is written by the insurance companies, for the insurance companies.Our plan levels the playing field for the American people and lowers costs for New Hampshire consumers. Estimates are that in New Hampshire 1,700 families will avoid bankruptcy from this bill; 72,000 people now uninsured will be insured; 207,000 Medicare beneficiaries will have improved coverage; and 15,000 Granite Staters will be helped by closing the doughnut hole on prescription drug coverage.The reform plan is a uniquely American approach that uses competition to strengthen employer-based health insurance and lower crippling health insurance costs for small businesses. It allows an estimated 38,400 small businesses in New Hampshire to get affordable health insurance. And the House health-care bill included my idea to provide 34,600 small businesses tax credits for providing coverage.The plan I support won’t let insurance companies get away with our broken health insurance system anymore. This plan will lower costs, it will increase access, and it won’t let insurance company executives decide whether you and your family get the coverage you need.I was proud to cast a vote for New Hampshire middle class families a few weeks ago – and I will always stand with the people of this state for real reform. We can’t afford the status quo, and we must stand up to the profiteers who care more about their profits than they do about the health of our people.Democrat Paul Hodes represents New Hampshire’s 2nd District in Congress.

Categories: Opinion