PHOENIX, AZ - Responding to President Obama's address to Congress Wednesday evening, Linda Brown, executive director of the Arizona Advocacy Network called on Congress to represent the interests of the American people - not the insurance companies - and pass quality, affordable health care reform with a public health insurance option. "We support the President in his call for genuine health care reform and that means fixing the real health care challenges that the American people face," Brown said. "I speak as an advocate and as one with personal experience. Last year I was 'recissioned' by my health insurance company after they refused to pay for an in-network PET scan prescribed by my in-network doctor. They actually returned my premium check and left me with no coverage. Arizonans have limited choices among insurance companies.
My present insurance company required that I sign a waiver agreeing that they would permanently exclude two of my health issues from coverage. Fortunately for now, these health issues aren't that serious, but what happens to people who need costly treatments in order to survive? In the richest country in the world, no one should have to worry that a treatable health problem could either bankrupt them or lead to an early death."
Brown added that affordability must be the cornerstone of health care reform - and to make health care affordable, insurance companies must be held accountable. "Without a public health insurance option, the health insurance companies win and the American people lose," she said.
Brown said the public health insurance option will lower costs and stop insurance industry abuses. "We have an historic opportunity to pass comprehensive reform that gives people a choice of a public health insurance plan as a guaranteed option with good benefits at a price that they can afford, so that never again in America will anyone have to worry about getting the care they deserve when they need it."
Arizona Advocacy Network (AzAN) is an affiliate of USAction. USAction and AzAN are members of Health Care for America Now (HCAN), the nation's largest public health care campaign. USAction Executive Director Jeff Blum serves as co-chair of HCAN's steering committee.
# # #