Friday, August 21, 2009
CONTACT: Leigh Fifelski
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Health Care Reform will Bring Relief to Tens of Thousands of Detroit Citizens, Businesses
Reform is critical to Detroit families, business struggling to survive

DETROIT – Members of Congress and advocates of health care reform today joined citizens who have been victims of a broken system and put a spotlight on how health care reform can bring relief to tens of thousands of Detroit citizens and businesses.

“People are suffering and businesses are folding across Detroit because of our health care crisis – and that’s why we need reform now,” MichUHCAN President Marjorie Mitchell said. “We cannot let the special interests and their lies take over our town halls, scare people and derail health care reform that can bring relief to thousands of people and save lives.”

According to an analysis by the U.S. House, health care reform being debated in Congress now can benefit tens of thousands of people in Detroit, including:

– Providing access to health care for more than 170,000 uninsured people in Detroit;
– Protecting around 5,000 Detroit families from going into bankruptcy because of high health care costs;
– Encouraging nearly 20,000 small businesses to provide affordable health care to their employees, through incentives;
– Ensuring nearly 10,000 seniors get affordable prescription drugs through Medicare.

“Over the years, my health insurance costs have risen to unbelievable prices. My husband and I are self employed, so for the past 29 years, we have paid our own insurance, and every year the cost has risen approximately 20%…our income, however and unfortunately, has not risen 20%,” Gena Agens of Groose Pointe Woods said. “I’m asking our elected leaders to stand up for citizens like myself, who work hard and play by the rules, and help reform health care. Health care reform could be the difference between life and death for many families, and we need action now.”

“The skyrocketing cost of health care is breaking the backs of families and Detroit businesses, and to do nothing is not acceptable,” said Michigan Citizens Action Executive Director Linda Teeter. “When it comes to health care reform, Detroit needs real change, not more of the same. We cannot allow the special interests’ scare tactics to stop us from accomplishing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide quality health care to Detroit families.”

The health care reforms being debated in Congress would provide significant relief to families and businesses already struggling in today’s economy and amid a spiraling health care crisis. The proposals include:

– Allowing individuals and small businesses to comparison shop for the best health insurance – including both the private and public options;
– Providing a public option, which will create real competition with private insurers and drive down costs; – Preventing insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions and for cherry picking only healthy patients; – Reducing costs for consumers, through cost caps, affordability credits and increased competition.


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