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Statement of NMPIRG Policy Analyst Laura Etherton on today’s Supreme Court ruling upholding health reform:
Today’s decision is good news for consumers. Insurance companies can’t go back to the days of dropping your coverage once you become ill, or denying coverage to sick children. And beginning in 2014, the days of insurers being able to deny anyone coverage for “pre-existing conditions” will be history.
Now it’s time for our leaders to move forward on the next steps, and make sure health reform delivers lower costs and better quality coverage.
With the last excuse for delay now behind us, the states should move ahead to put important consumer protections in place, like setting up new competitive marketplaces for health insurance, and adopting new rules to protect consumers from unjustified rate hikes. These kinds of reforms are critical to give consumers a better deal on coverage, and it’s up to the states to make them happen.
All states can now move ahead with new health insurance exchanges. Done right, the exchange will be a competitive marketplace where consumers and small businesses leverage their buying power to get a better deal on coverage.
And the states should continue to improve protections against unjustified rate hikes and push insurance companies to control costs – not by raising deductibles or cutting care – but by cutting waste and focusing on prevention.
When Big Pharma pays off their competition to keep them from selling lower priced generic drugs, we all pay. Each year this costs Americans an added $3.5 billion.
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