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Washington, May 3 - Statement of U.S. PIRG Health Care Advocate Larry McNeely on House legislation to defund the set-up of state health insurance exchanges, H.R 1213.
“H.R. 1213 would hurt consumers by zeroing out the start-up funds needed to get new competitive state health insurance marketplaces off the ground. Delaying the establishment of these exchanges will mean years more of the status quo – a stagnant marketplace with little competition, fewer choices and unchecked premium growth.
“New health insurance exchanges offer states an opportunity to improve health care and lower costs by pooling consumers’ bargaining power, creating economies of scale, and pushing insurers toward delivering lower costs and higher quality.
“Repealing this funding would make it more likely that states will be unable to create an exchange, meaning that the federal government would have to step in and run the state exchanges. As a result, H.R. 1213 would deny states the opportunity to innovate and adapt the exchanges to the needs of their own consumers and businesses.
“Rising health care costs are squeezing families and businesses across the nation, and are the largest single driver of our long-term federal budget deficits. At this moment, when we should be doing more to curb those costs, defunding the exchanges takes us in exactly the wrong direction.”
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U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization. For more information visit http://www.uspirg.org.
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