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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2011
4:04 PM

CONTACT: US PIRG

Michael Russo, U.S. PIRG Policy Analyst
mrusso@pirg.org

Decision Overturning Health Reform Would Increase Costs for Consumers

WASHINGTON - August 12 - Statement of U.S. PIRG Policy Analyst Mike Russo on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling today on Florida v. HHS, the lawsuit brought by state attorneys general and governors against the new federal health care law:

“Relying on a flawed understanding of Supreme Court precedent, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals today struck down a key element of last year’s health reform law. Unfortunately, consumers and small businesses would face significantly higher insurance premiums if the Supreme Court upholds this ruling. Americans would be left paying more than $1,000 extra a year, because those who choose to go without coverage will continue to use the emergency room as their only health care and shift those costs onto the insured.

“The health reform law protects consumers with pre-existing conditions from being discriminated against by insurance companies, and helps rein in the out-of-control cost of health care. The Eleventh Circuit’s ruling today jeopardizes those gains, putting consumers at risk of once again paying too much for coverage that might not be there when they need it.

“The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in June upheld the health reform law. This split among the Circuits makes Supreme Court review next year all but inevitable. The states who brought this suit should dedicate the time, energy and precious taxpayer dollars they are now spending on this lawsuit toward finding real solutions to the growing threat that health care costs pose to their states’ families, businesses, and budget."

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U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.



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