Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, announced their plans to develop legislation to establish a public option for health coverage to lower health care costs and help families get quality, affordable health care. The Chairs issued a Request for Information (RFI) today as they begin to work with their colleagues who have put forward public option proposals of their own to craft new comprehensive legislation.
“This pandemic has underscored why it’s so important to patients, families, and communities across the country that health care is truly a right, not a privilege," Pallone and Murray said. "No one should suffer or die because quality health care was too expensive or too hard to get. We believe we must take bold steps to lower health care costs and move toward universal coverage by creating a federal public option available to everyone—and a clear majority of Americans agree. A federal public option will help guarantee that no matter where you live, who you are, or what your income—if you live in America, you can get the quality health care you need without worrying about cost.
“We’re grateful to our colleagues who have already put forward thoughtful proposals on dramatically expanding coverage—and President Biden who has always been clear that this is a priority for his Administration. We look forward to working with everyone in the weeks and months ahead as we work to craft bold legislation and finally getting this done for families across the country.”
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Pallone and Murray sent an RFI letter to the public today requesting their input as the Committee leaders begin to draft comprehensive public option legislation. The Committee leaders requested responses by July 31, 2021.