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JOHN KERRY: HEALTH CARE REFORM THAT LOWERS COSTS, IMPROVES QUALITY AND EXPANDS COVERAGE TO ALL AMERICANS

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JOHN KERRY: HEALTH CARE REFORM THAT LOWERS COSTS, IMPROVES QUALITY AND EXPANDS COVERAGE TO ALL AMERICANS

JOHN KERRY’S HEALTH CARE PRINCIPLES:

• We need a health care system that ensures quality, affordable health care for every American man, woman, and child. And it’s our moral responsibility to help those who need it most.

• We’re stuck with a twentieth century health care system that just doesn’t work for a twenty first century economy. The traditional employer-based health care system can no longer meet all our needs. Costs are too high and businesses overseas are operating on a whole different playing field.

• A one-size-fits-all program just won’t work in America. People want and deserve more options and more choices – ones they can actually afford.

• Health care in America works, just not for enough people. We don’t need to scrap the entire system and replace it with something new and unknown. John Kerry wants to build on what’s already working and make it work for everybody.

• We must strengthen what works now, reward what’s right, and fix what’s wrong.

• We must not add bureaucracy – we must slash it.

• We must invest in American ingenuity to modernize our systems, improve quality and lower costs.

JOHN KERRY’S HEALTH CARE PLAN:

• Gives every American access to the same type of health care plan that Members of Congress get today and providing tax credits to make it affordable for the middle class, small businesses, near retirees, and people between jobs.

• Lower costs for employers and employees: The federal government will reimburse a percentage of the highest cost cases if employers include disease management and health promotion benefits in their employee health plans and implement ‘evidenced-based’ practices – those that are proven to provide the best care, including preventative care – to help make care more affordable. Right now the most expensive 0.4% of insurance claims account for 20% of all health care costs. Direct financial relief to employers and their workers will bring down premiums for everyone.

• Covers ALL children. We could cover every child in America next year with federal-state coverage expansions. John Kerry’s plan will provide health care coverage for every child in America. KidsFirst will cover all children up to three times the poverty level, through age 21.

• Improves quality and contains costs of health care overall through better care coordination, physician payment incentives, implementing ‘evidence-based’ practices, and investing in health information technology, such as electronic medical records.

• Experts agree Kerry’s plan will cover all Americans. A mandate will go into effect in 2012 to cover any remaining uninsured.

• Kerry’s health plan is paid for by repealing the Bush tax cuts for those earning over $200,000.

HEALTH CARE FACTS:

• There are 11 million uninsured children and 35 million uninsured adults in America.

• Since President Bush took office, the number of uninsured Americans has grown by six million and premiums are up 73%.

• Health care for a family of four now costs more than a minimum wage worker earns in a year.

• Health care affects the competitiveness of American companies in the global marketplace. For example, General Motors pays $1500 in health care costs on every vehicle they manufacture. Toyota pays only $500.

• African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asians and Pacific Islanders comprise only one-third of the population but account for half of the nation’s uninsured, though they are just as likely as whites to belong to working families.

• America ranks 37th in overall performance of our health system. Cyprus, Morocco and Costa Rica outrank us.

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