4 Things Congress Must Do to Make Health Care Affordable

  1. Make health care affordable at work

    Require a fair-share contribution from employers - either offering coverage to all workers or paying toward their purchase of other coverage. This would cover 11 million more people at work than the Senate proposal and raise $100 billion in revenue that can be used to improve affordability for those seeking coverage through the exchange.

    • Enact the House employer responsibility provisions so that all but the smallest employers help pay for good health coverage for their employees

  2. Make health care affordable for people without employer-based coverage

    Be sure that people who aren't offered health coverage at work can afford their premiums and have reasonable out-of-pocket costs.

    • Use the House affordability provisions for low- and moderate-income people;
    • Use the Senate affordability provisions for middle-income people.

  3. Don't tax our health coverage

    There's a better way to pay for health care reform than taxing health care benefits. Taxing benefits will raise premiums and out-of-pocket costs and lower wages. Instead, Congress should raise revenue from those who can most afford to pay (those earning $250,000 or more) as President Obama pledged during the campaign.

    • Enact the House millionaires' surcharge or other revenue measures that raise taxes from those with the highest incomes.

  4. Hold insurance companies accountable

    We need strong rules that guarantee insurance company greed doesn't turn health care reform into a corporate windfall. This includes tough insurance rules so we know how premium dollars are being spent, banning discrimination based on your health, and transparency so we know what we're buying.

    • Include a public health insurance option that is available across the country on day one.
    • Enact consumer protection provisions, like those in the House bill, that keep big insurance companies in check.

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