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The Consequences of Inaction

from The Women of Steel

· Rising health care costs are crushing families and businesses, forcing small business owners to choose between health care and hiring and forcing families to make hard spending choices because of rising out of pocket health care costs.

· This problem isn’t going away unless we do right by the American people and fix it. Just yesterday we learned from a report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute that if we fail to pass reform, families could see their spending on premiums and out-of-pocket health care costs jump 34 percent by 2015 and 79 percent by 2020.

· Premiums will become increasingly expensive for employers and their workers. Premiums for both single and family policies could more than double by 2020, increasing from $4,800 to $10,300 for single policies, and from $12,100 to $25,600 for family policies.

· And employers could see large increases in premium costs, from $430 billion in 2010 to $851 billion in 2020, a 98 percent increase.

· With premiums nearly doubling, small and medium-sized businesses could be forced to drop their employees’ coverage; the number of small businesses offering health insurance will continue to drop so that less than a quarter may provide coverage in 2020; and offers from medium-sized businesses could drop from 90 percent in 2010 to 75 percent in 2020.

· If we do nothing, the health care system will continue to work better for insurance companies than it does for the American people. And that’s why the President has put forward a plan that will give American families and small business owners more control over their own health care by giving them more consumer protections and shifting power away from the insurance companies.

· Inaction is simply not an option, because we know what that future will look like. Insurance premiums will continue to skyrocket, families and small business will continue to be priced out of coverage, and health care cost growth will continue to increase, putting an unsustainable burden on our fiscal deficit.

· But if we pass health insurance reform, then we know families and businesses will have control of their health care, the insurance industry will be prohibited from continuing its worst practices like denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, and we will cut the deficit by up to $1 trillion over the next two decades.

· The stakes are too high for the millions of Americans across the country who are hurting because of the way our current health care system works. They deserve an up or down vote on this issue.

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