WASHINGTON – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), the Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement after the Department of Health and Human Services announced proposed rules to help states establish state-based competitive marketplaces where Americans and small businesses will be able to purchase affordable health insurance. To mark the one year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act this March, Harkin convened a HELP Committee hearing to examine the progress that states have made in implementing the Exchanges and the rest of the ACA.
“Health reform will make comprehensive, affordable coverage available to more than 30 million Americans who otherwise wouldn’t have access to it. Starting in 2014, most will purchase coverage through new, transparent marketplaces that will force insurance companies to compete for customers, driving prices down for everyone. Through these state Exchanges, small businesses will gain the same bargaining power previously enjoyed only by the largest corporations, and Americans will have an unprecedented array of affordable, high quality options for coverage. I’m pleased that the Administration has released a proposed rule that will guide states’ work in getting Exchanges up and running – many states are already deeply engaged in this process. I look forward to reviewing the proposal and working with the Administration to realize the promise of health reform.”