The goal of health insurance reform is to provide quality, affordable health care for every American while preserving what works in today's system, expanding choice, and containing costs. America's Affordable Health Choices Act provides a public health insurance option that would compete with private insurers within the Health Insurance Exchange.
Speaker Pelosi issued the following statement today on recent discussions about health insurance reform:
As the President stated in March, ‘The thinking on the public option has been that it gives consumers more choices and it helps keep the private sector honest, because there's some competition out there.’
We agree with the President that a public option will keep insurance companies honest and increase competition.
There is strong support in the House for a public option. In the House, all three of our bills contain a public option, as does the bill from the Senate HELP Committee.
A public option is the best option to lower costs, improve the quality of health care, ensure choice and expand coverage.
The public option brings real reform to lower costs over the 10-year period of the bill.
The public health insurance option will be available in the new Health Insurance Exchange along with all of the private health insurance plans. The public option:
LEVELS THE PLAYING FIELD
Requires public option to meet the same benefit requirements and comply with the same insurance market reforms as private plans.
Establishes the public option's premiums for the local market areas that are designated by the Exchange, just as other insurers do.
Individuals with affordability credits can choose among the private carriers and the public option.
The public option must be financially self-sustaining, as private plans are.
The public option will need to build start-up costs and contingency funds into its rates and adjust premiums annually in order to assure its financial viability, as private plans do.
IS INNOVATIVE AND CONTAINS COSTS
Promotes primary care, encourage coordinated care and shared accountability, and improve quality.
Institutes new payment structures and incentives to promote these critical reforms.
And as the following polls show, Americans support having a public option to compete with private insurance plans: