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For Immediate Release
June 11, 2009
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Washington, DC—Today, Children's Defense Fund General Counsel Susan Gates issued the following statement in response to the release of the framework for Senator John Rockefeller's Consumer Health Care Act:
"It is critical that health care reform give families a strong public health insurance option that competes with private insurers. I applaud Senator Rockefeller for his leadership in the health care reform debate and am encouraged by the inclusion of a public health insurance option in his proposal. Giving people this option would encourage competition on the basis of cost and quality, not by avoiding the sick and denying care, as is the current practice of profit-driven insurance companies. Even with the recent expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, 5-6 million children will still be uninsured, and a public health insurance option will help ensure that all children will be able to get health coverage—no matter what.
"Real health care reform will give everyone in America real freedom of choice: keep your current plan and your current doctor, chose another private plan, or chose a quality affordable public health insurance plan. I urge the Senate Finance and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committees to ensure that a strong public health insurance plan option—one that would be immediately implemented—is a key part of their final legislation. It’s time to stop playing politics and solve the health care crisis. I thank Senator Rockefeller for recognizing the urgent need for reform."