Consumer Group Praises House’s Introduction of Strong Health Care Reform Bill

Legislation Contains Key Cost-Saving Provisions

Georgia PIRG Education Fund

ATLANTA, July 15 – Consumer group Georgia PIRG welcomed the release of the House’s final draft of its health care reform bill.

“With Georgians’ health care premiums set to double over the next eight years, the priority for reform has to be getting these skyrocketing costs under control,” said Sandra Glaze, Health Care Advocate with Georgia PIRG.  “Fortunately, this bill stakes out a strong position on the key policies we need to make coverage more affordable.”

A recent Georgia PIRG report, The Facts About Comparative Effectiveness Research,  identified increased support for comparative effectiveness research (CER – medical research into which treatments work best for different kinds of patients) as one of the touchstones for increasing quality and lowering costs.  The draft legislation provides ongoing funding for this research and ensures that findings will be disseminated to doctors.

“Doctors need the best, most current information about how to treat their patients,” said Glaze.  “This legislation will make sure there is research there to meet that need.  What’s more, the bill will insulate CER from special-interest lobbying that might try to suppress research that threatens a drug or device maker’s profits.”

Another primary element of cost-saving reform is the creation of a public health insurance plan option.  Recent polls show that it is a choice Americans want.  Studies have estimated that the plan could lead to $800 billion or more in health care savings.

“We’re very happy to see a robust public plan option included in this bill,” added Glaze. “The innovative payment and delivery reforms that the plan is authorized to use will provide a high-quality, low-cost option for Americans.”