Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thurman: Obama Address to Congress provided an "Overwhelming and Compelling Case" In Support of Health Insurance Reform

Congresswoman Karen L. Thurman, Florida Democratic Party Chair, issued the following statement after President Obama's addressed a Joint Session of Congress about his health insurance reform plan:

"Tonight, President Obama made an overwhelming and compelling case to the American people about the need to pass health insurance reform this year.

"The core of his plan is simple: provide more security and stability for people who have insurance, provide quality, affordable care to those who don't, and rein in skyrocketing costs that are crushing American families, businesses and the government itself.

"The President's plan will protect Floridians from unfair insurance industry practices. It'll prohibit insurance companies from discriminating against someone for a preexisting condition and it'll stop them from dropping someone's coverage when they get sick, and need help the most.

"Too many of Florida's residents and small businesses are struggling under the high costs of care. Reform will bring down costs, but creating a Health Insurance Exchange - a kind of one stop shop for health plans. It'll also provide new tax credits to help people buy insurance and create a public insurance option to increase competition, lower costs and expand choice. What's more, the President's plan won't add to our deficit - it'll pay for reform upfront - and it takes the best from Democratic and Republican ideas.

"We are closer than ever to passing comprehensive reform and President Obama has laid out a clear path forward. Unfortunately, Republican leaders in Florida have decided to stand in lock-step opposition to reform. They want to maintain the status quo and hurt President Obama politically. Opponents of reform have a choice. They can either stop playing partisan games and come up with their own reform proposal, or they can start explaining to the American people why it's better to stand by and do nothing at all as thousands more Floridians face skyrocketing costs and lose their coverage every day.

"While it's unfortunate that Republicans in Florida seem poised to nominate a gubernatorial candidate who, while in Congress, fought to dismantle Medicare, repeatedly voted to cut billions out of health care, and worked to make it harder for the government to crack down on health care fraud, Florida's Republican leaders should know that being the 'Party of No' on health insurance reform just won't cut it.

"Floridians support President Obama's plan for health insurance reform. The time for action is now."

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