CARDIN LAUDS THE PRESIDENT'S CALL FOR ACTION ON HEALTH CARE REFORM, REITERATES SUPPORT FOR A PUBLIC OPTION
U.S. Senator Cardin (D-MD) issued the following statement in response to President Obama's address on health care reform to a joint session of Congress this evening.
"I applaud the President for directly confronting one of the most pressing issues facing our country today - the skyrocketing cost of health care. The need for health reform is very real, as each day 14,000 Americans lose their health insurance. Throughout the summer, at town hall meetings and other events across our state, I have met face-to-face with many Marylanders who have struggled to afford their current health coverage or have been denied access by insurers. The President reminded us all tonight of the immense cost of inaction to these individuals, families, small business, and our entire national economy. For their sake, we must pass health care reform this year.
"The goal of successful health care reform is clear. We must bring down the escalating cost of health care while providing access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans. And we must accomplish this without adding to our nation's deficit.
"Competition is the best way to help keep costs down. Like the President, I support building upon our current system of employer-based, private insurance coverage, which now covers more than 150 million Americans. But we have a sizeable and growing population who are not eligible for health coverage through an employer, have been rejected by private insurance companies, who have been subjected to premium increases that they can no longer afford, or otherwise do not have health insurance. I agree with the President that a public option for health coverage - which is only about who pays for the coverage and not who provides the medical care - would be the most effective way to provide an affordable, quality plan for those not otherwise covered by private insurers. It would help keep private insurers in check by serving as a low-cost competitor."
Senator Cardin is a member of the Senate Budget Committee. He held three town hall meetings on health care reform in July and August, in addition to other health care-related events, across Maryland during that time period.
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