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Opponents of Reform Cry "Repeal," Vow to Fight On for the Insurance Industry

As we approach passage of historic health insurance reform, decades in the making, defenders of the status quo vow to continue fighting for insurance companies even after reform passes.

Yesterday POLITICO reported that, before it even becomes law, opponents of health care reform – including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich – are already talking about repealing it. Certainly there is a fundamental disagreement here, since many opponents of reform – again including Gingrich – appear to think that insurance companies can do no wrong.

First, it does seem like another example of opposition at any cost to want to repeal a law before its even enacted.

Second, everyone should be very clear what is being called for here. At a time when insurance companies are finally about to be reined in, and when American families are finally about to be given control over their own health care, opponents of reform are advocating that insurance companies once again be allowed to run wild. Specifically, if they have their way.

  • Insurance companies will once again be able to deny coverage to anyone with a pre-existing condition like diabetes, high blood pressure or asthma.
  • Insurance companies will once again be able to drop coverage when you get sick and need it most.
  • Insurance companies will once again be able to impose annual or lifetime caps on coverage and charge unlimited out-of-pocket expenses.

And here are some of the benefits that these opponents of reform would want to overturn:

  • Make preventive care completely free – with no co-payments or deductibles.
  • Provide tax credits to help small businesses and hard-working families afford quality coverage.
  • Create a new insurance exchange – essentially a marketplace – where individuals and small businesses can compare cost and quality and shop for the plan that is right for them.

We’ve said it before here, but I’ll say it again: for President Obama, this isn’t about him or about the Democratic Party.  It’s about solving a problem that we’ve talked about for decades – a crisis that is bankrupting American families, putting American companies out of business, and exploding our national deficit.

Dan Pfeiffer is White House Communications Director