House Bill Fails to Deliver Affordable Healthcare Reform

WASHINGTON - The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) issued the following statement regarding today's House vote on H.R. 3962, the "Affordable Health Care for America Act":

We are disappointed that after months of rigorous debate and despite several analyses illustrating the very real unintended consequences of certain reform provisions, the House has passed legislation that undermines the goals of comprehensive healthcare reform.  Instead of using this once-in-a-generation opportunity to expand coverage, rein in costs, and improve healthcare quality, the bill creates a new government-run plan that jeopardizes affordability and access to coverage for the 160 million people who receive their benefits through their employers today; makes health coverage much more expensive, particularly for individuals and small employers; and represents a massive federal takeover of state regulatory functions.

The absence of true delivery system reforms that would bend the long-term cost curve and increase the quality and safety of healthcare in America is further troubling.  It's not too late to fix healthcare reform legislation so that we can deliver on the promise of a better healthcare system that meets the needs of Americans and reduces the fiscal burden that healthcare costs present today.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies will continue to work with the Congress to modify problematic provisions to create affordable and sustainable health care reform.  We are too close to achieving what will perhaps be the defining domestic policy legislation of our time to squander this moment, and we believe that legislation that benefits everyone is within our grasp.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 39 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage to more than 100 million members - one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit www.BCBS.com.

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