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Letter to the Members of the House Education and Labor, Energy and Commerce, and Ways and Means Committees, and House Democratic leadership, Commending them on the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009

July 15, 2009

Dear Representative:


On behalf of its 3.2 million members, the National Education Association (NEA) applauds the significant health care reform legislation released yesterday by leaders of the House of Representatives.  We commend the House leadership, as well as the members of the Committees on Education and Labor, Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce, for their hard work in crafting this legislation.

The broad-based “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009” meets crucial health care reform goals that NEA shares with President Obama—guaranteeing access to quality, affordable health care benefits and controlling skyrocketing health care costs.  The House initiative ensures choice of health care providers and plans, keeping what works in our health care system and providing a blueprint for change where necessary.

We are pleased that the legislation includes a robust public health insurance plan option that will be able to compete with private insurance companies from day one.  Further, we recognize and appreciate that the legislation includes financing mechanisms that avoid a tax on health care benefits, which would have been unfair and devastating to employer-sponsored health plans.

The legislation’s inclusion of insurance market reforms, prevention and wellness initiatives, and shared responsibilities for employers, individuals, and government will move us forward as we reform this country’s health care system.  NEA is also encouraged that the legislation would make much-needed changes to the Medicare program, such as moving toward an elimination of the Part D prescription drug coverage gap, or “donut hole.”

We encourage the House of Representatives to move forward with reform in the face of what is sure to be stiff opposition.

Sincerely,

Diane Shust
Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody
Manager of Federal Advocacy