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What Others Are Saying: Support For Affordable Health Care For America Act

President Barack Obama
'The House legislation includes critical reforms to the insurance industry, so that Americans will no longer have to worry that they will be denied coverage, or that their coverage will be dropped or watered down when they need it most. I'm also pleased that the bill includes a public option offered in an exchange. As I've said throughout this process, a public option that competes with private insurers is the best way to ensure choice and competition that are so badly needed in today's market. And the House bill clearly meets two of the fundamental criteria I have set out: it is fully paid for and will reduce the deficit in the long term.

'While we know there will may more steps and much spirited debate before a bill reaches my desk, I congratulate the House on their work so far, and I'm confident that members will continue to work together to deliver meaningful reform for America's families and businesses.' [10/29/09]

Larry Gage, National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems
'The Act takes important steps toward improving the nation's health care system while expanding coverage to an estimated 96 percent of Americans by 2019. As health coverage expands, the House has taken a reasonable approach to funding safety net providers, recognizing that Medicare and Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments will continue to be vital to the viability of these essential hospitals and health systems...

'We are also pleased that the Act creates several pathways to achieving delivery system reform and better integrating and streamlining care for patients. We are particularly grateful that the Act includes community-based collaborative care networks. As integrated delivery systems, safety net health systems strive to keep patients healthy and out of the hospital by coordinating primary and specialty care.' [10/29/09]

Heather Smith, Rock the Vote
'Young adults are the most uninsured age group in the country and have been vocal about the need to change the system. The health care status quo is failing young Americans. As we evaluate the heath reform legislation, we have a simple test: is this a good deal for young people? The House bill passes that test because House leaders listened to our needs and addressed them.' [10/29/09]

Rich Umbdenstock, American Hospital Association
'America's hospitals commend the House leadership for their commitment to this historic effort to expand coverage. Hospitals want to see coverage for all become a reality. That's why we are pleased the House proposal is expected to expand health coverage to 96 percent of people legally residing in the United States...

'For hospitals, reform holds the promise of better access to quality care for all.' [10/30/09]

Small Business Majority
'We're pleased to see some of the amendments that have come out of the long debate - provisions such as short-term relief in the form of a high-risk pool that will commence immediately in 2010, and the requirement that health plans spend a minimum of 85 percent of premium dollars on medical care. These will be of great benefit to small businesses, especially the self-employed.

'These changes further strengthen the legislation's core benefits to small businesses: cost containment, insurance reform, tax credits and a robust, competitive exchange.

'We can begin the process of providing small businesses with substantial relief from their current untenable situation by enacting comprehensive healthcare reform this year. It starts with the passage of H.R. 3962.' [10/29/09]

Ron Pollack, Families USA
'The House health insurance reform bill sets the gold standard for legislation that deserves to be adopted this year.

'The bill will provide America's families with peace of mind. It does so by ensuring that affordable, high-quality health coverage and care will not be taken away from them, even when they get sick, have a pre-existing condition, or lose their jobs.' [10/29/09]

Barbara Kennelly, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
'The Affordable Health Care for America Act includes substantial benefits, improvements, and protections that are very important to our members...

'Contrary to the rhetoric heard from opponents, this bill does not cut Medicare; rather it includes provisions to ensure that we are receiving high quality care and the best value for our Medicare dollars.' [10/29/09]

Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO
'The leadership in the House has crafted a fiscally responsible bill that will provide coverage to 96 percent of Americans and successfully works to lower costs, increase choice, expand coverage and stop insurance company abuses.

'The inclusion of a public plan option ensures that we reduce skyrocketing health care costs by holding insurance companies accountable and forcing them to compete. The public option also ensures that all Americans can get coverage no matter what.' [10/29/09]

Gerald McEntee, AFSCME
'It protects working Americans from a tax on their health benefits, provides a public option and requires large and medium-sized employers to provide insurance for their employees. This bill will make quality, affordable health care a reality for millions of families. Instead of taxing the health benefits of middle class Americans, Speaker Pelosi asks the wealthiest people in the country to pay their fair share. We will mobilize our members across the country to build support for this bill. This is real health care reform. The time has come for Congress to enact it.' [10/29/09]

Larry Cohen, CWA
Ron Gettelfinger, UAW
'Our nation's health care system is in crisis. Costs continue to escalate at unsustainable rates, placing ever increasing burdens on working families, businesses and government. Meanwhile, millions of Americans lack any health care coverage.

'The health care reform legislation that will be taken up by the House takes major steps to address these serious problems.'[10/29/09]

Larry McNeely, U.S. PIRG
'With the announcement of the final House health care bill on Thursday, consumers and small businesses, burdened by the rising cost of health care, can now look forward to more security, better choices and lower costs.' [10/29/09]

Richard Kirsch, Health Care Action Now (HCAN)
'Today we took one historic step closer to achieving comprehensive health care reform that works for America's families and businesses and guarantees people will no longer be left at the mercy of private health insurance companies - companies beholden to Wall Street and corporate shareholders instead of committed to making sure people have good, affordable health care when they need it most.' [10/29/09]

Andy Stern, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
'What Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House showed us today is that they will not govern out of fear but will lead with conviction, choosing bold solutions that live up to our country's promise.

'The chorus of ‘No We Can't' from the insurance industry, special interests and Republicans will not stand in the way of the change our country demanded last November.

'Now, it is up to all of us to once again take up President Obama's challenge of ‘Yes We Can' to guarantee that there will be no doubt that meaningful health insurance reform happens this year.' [10/29/09]