Press Release
Statement of Debra L. Ness Before Senate Finance Committee Summit on Health Care Reform

Good morning Senator Wyden. Thank you for this opportunity to speak today on the need for
reform of our health care delivery system. The National Partnership for Women & Families is a
non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization with three and a half decades of experience
promoting access to quality health care, fairness in the workplace, and policies that help women
and men meet the competing demands of work and family. Over the past decade, our work to
expand access to quality, affordable health care has grown in urgency and importance. Health
care is central to the well-being of women and families. It is a key determinant of their quality of
life, their economic security, and their ability to thrive, prosper, and participate in our society.
Indeed, ensuring that all individuals have access to quality health care will be a key determinant
of our nation’s vitality. I am particularly pleased to engage in this discussion with you because
of your leadership and commitment to improving our nation’s health by introducing the first bipartisan
health care reform proposal in over a decade, the “Healthy Americans Act”. We share
many of the same ideas, and I look forward to further discussion on them.

Meaningful Reform Must Address Quality, Cost and Coverage

There is no question that our current system is unraveling. Quality and safety problems are
rampant, costs are out of control, and we are faced with historic levels of Americans who lack
health insurance, are underinsured, or live in fear of losing the coverage they have. The need for
reform is clear and urgent. There is growing consensus that we must, as a nation, make quality,
affordable health care available to all individuals. But we must also recognize that we cannot
achieve this goal without comprehensive reform of our current delivery system. The foundation
for meaningful reform lies in shared recognition that current quality is unacceptable, costs are
unsustainable, and the lack of coverage is inconsistent with basic American values. Meaningful
reform must recognize that quality, cost, and coverage are inextricably linked and inseparable in
our quest to achieve a health care system that delivers quality, affordable health care for all. Read more »

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About the National Partnership for Women & Families

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family.

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