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With A Few Tweaks, Reforms Will Work

Home News Tribune / MyCentralJersey.com — Friday, January 1, 2010

Letters to the Editor

I applaud Congress for its great work in passing long overdue health care reform legislation bringing us closer than ever to health care reform in this country, something our nation has been trying to do since the days of Teddy Roosevelt. But Congress must make some important improvements in order to get a final bill that makes quality health care truly affordable for America 1/8s families and businesses.

As we move into the final stretch of enacting long overdue health care reform, Congress needs to do four things to make sure we finish the job right: Health care must be affordable at work; iIt must be affordable for people who currently lack employer-based coverage; it needs to be fairly financed; and it needs to hold insurance companies accountable.

The House bill is better than the Senate bill in achieving nearly every one of these reforms. It requires that all but the smallest employers pay their fair share. It makes health care affordable for low- and moderate-income families. It raises revenue by taxing those who can most afford to pay. And it has numerous consumer protection provisions, including the choice of a public health insurance option, to stop private insurance companies from turning health care reform into a corporate windfall.

But unfortunately, the House bill is not as affordable for middle-income people as the Senate bill and could cost some families more than they can afford to buy health insurance. The Senate bill does a better job here although it too can be improved.

Congress needs to combine the best of both bills into one historic piece of legislation that guarantees the quality, affordable health care we've all needed for so long.

JEAN M. PIERCE
Woodbridge

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