Assuring the affordability of health care for all Americans and requiring accountability for insurance companies are two of our central principles in this reform.
We look forward to studying the impact of the Senate Finance Committee Chairman's mark on America's families and businesses, and on the cost of health care. The fifth and final Congressional committee is now putting forward a product that will move this historic debate forward.
We are pleased that Senator Baucus' plan mirrors some key provisions in the House proposal, including sweeping insurance reforms and consumer protections. The House bill clearly does more to make coverage affordable for more Americans and provides more competition to drive insurance companies to charge lower premiums and improve coverage. The House bill also does more to help seniors afford prescription coverage, closing the donut hole completely, while the Baucus proposal simply reduces the cost of brand name drugs in the donut hole.
As this proposal evolves, we hope to see modifications that result in the Senate bill better reflecting the work of the House to make health care more affordable for all Americans and promote competition that is key to keeping costs lower. I believe the public option is the best way to achieve that goal.