WASHINGTON – The Partnership for America’s Health Care Future issued the following statement regarding today’s hearing in the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means:

“We welcome a frank and open discussion on how best to expand access to the affordable, quality health care every American deserves.  With roughly 90 percent of Americans now covered, it is clear that the best way to achieve this important goal is to build and improve upon the strengths of our current system, not to scrap it all – including employer-provided coverage, the Affordable Care Act, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Medicaid and Medicare, including Medicare Advantage – in favor of a one-size-fits-all system run by the government,” said Lauren Crawford Shaver, the Partnership’s executive director.

“Unfortunately, some are promoting costly, destructive plans that would undermine the foundations of American health care and harm taxpayers, consumers and patients.  This includes proposed government insurance programs, often called ‘buy-in’ or ‘public option’ schemes, which are intended to be a slippery slope to one-size-fits-all Medicare for all – a fact even their proponents acknowledge.  While some have labeled these proposals as ‘moderate,’ their results would be anything but, as Americans would ultimately lose the choice and control they value so highly, and be forced to pay more to wait longer for worse care,” Shaver continued.

“While there is important work that should be done to improve American health care, our leaders already have powerful tools available to them to bring costs under control and extend coverage to millions more.  These include expanding Medicaid in the states that have not yet expanded the program, which would immediately extend coverage to millions, strengthening available subsidies so Americans of all income levels can choose market-based coverage that fits their needs, and using reinsurance, which has been proven to stabilize premiums and help control costs for consumers.  By taking constructive, common-sense steps such as these, the free market and public programs can continue working together to make health care better for every American.”

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