Committee Reports

Statement of Principles for Bipartisan Debate and Deliberation Regarding Health Care Reform Legislation


The Health Law Committee issued a statement of principles to help shape the terms and tenor of deliberation on health care reform legislation going forward, and to measure the likely success of any proposed legislation.  These principles seek to accomplish two key objectives: “1) the public will actually understand and have the opportunity to provide input on any proposed health care reform legislation; and 2) any legislation enacted by Congress will achieve both bipartisan support and the presumed shared goal of greater access to health care and broader coverage among Americans.” Noting that “[W]hatever the infirmities or shortcomings that beset the current state of health care law, any reform legislation should not undermine the gains already achieved, under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) or otherwise, in patients’ access to health care and health insurance coverage, and the means to finance needed care and coverage, while continuing to pursue innovative ways to contain costs and improve care outcomes going forward.”  Maintaining or improving the extent of health insurance coverage is a critical component to any health care reform legislation. Moreover, “[i]t is insufficient to offer plans that do not insure against the unexpected illness or medical need – the very purpose of insurance — or whose terms of coverage cannot be understood by Americans at the critical moment when the need for coverage arises.”