Edwards Announces Plan to Take On Health Insurance Companies to Help Families

As part of “America Belongs to Us” week, Edwards calls for stronger insurance laws to prevent abuse and ensure American families can get the care they need

(Manchester, NH) – In New Hampshire today as part of “America Belongs to Us” week, Senator John Edwards unveiled his proposals to take on health insurance companies and highlighted why he is the one candidate the American people can trust to stand up to the big corporations who have used their money and lobbyists to rig the system in Washington at the expense of hardworking American families. Edwards called for stronger insurance laws to prevent abuses and ensure that everyonecan get the insurance they need, strengthening enforcement of insurance rules, and the creation of more competition and choice in insurance markets.

“The American health care system is broken,” said Edwards. “Even families with insurance are often unprotected from catastrophic events, as insurers fight legitimate claims, impose coverage caps, and look for technicalities to cancel policies. Half of families entering bankruptcy today are driven by high medical costs.

“I have spent my entire life battling special interest groups to protect the rights of regular Americans. In courtrooms, I stood with families who needed a voice against armies of insurance company lawyers. In the Senate, I championed the Patients’ Bill of Rights to fight managed care and insurance company abuses. I’ve seen first-hand how far too often health insurance companies will put profit and executive bonuses above the medical needs of their customers.

“Last week, Governor Romney proposed even further deregulation of the health insurance industry – a plan that could lead to even more insured Americans without the care they need. This is clearly the wrong approach. We need tough new insurance laws to prevent abuses and ensure that Americans are no longer on their own against insurance companies.”

Under the Edwards’ plan, insurance companies will be required to sell insurance to everyone, regardless of their preexisting conditions, and prevented from denying coverage after a condition develops. Edwards will put a stop to the practice of charging more to individuals with certain occupations or with pre-existing conditions, and will set national accounting standards requiring insurers to spend at least 85 percent of their premiums on patient care. Edwards will empower consumers by forcing insurance companies to be more honest and transparent about what they will ultimately cover and making sure all insurers guarantee comprehensivebenefits. Edwards also called for an updated bill of rights for patients and providers.

To strengthen oversight and maintaining insurer accountability, Edwards will create Health Care Markets and offer advocates to help patients negotiate with insurance companies. And to increase competition and stop insurance company monopolies, Edwards will block mergers that could hurt consumers, doctors and hospitals. Also, his new public insurance plan will increase competitive pressures on private insurers to hold down their costs and deliver better coverage.

Edwards’ proposals for taking on the insurance companies are part of the “America Belongs to Us” week, in which he will lay out detailed policy proposals to address specific issues that matter that matter most for American families , including the rising cost of home heating oil, protecting our children from unsafe toys and ensuring access to safe and affordable prescription drugs.

For further details on Edwards plan to take on health insurance companies, please see the “Taking on Health Insurance Companies to Help Families” <------Click Here to view Edwards Plan