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Facts from the American Health Security Act of 2011

The Affordable Care Act provides Americans economic and health security with protections against exorbitant premium hikes, better health benefits, and slower growth in health care costs. Conservatives in the Congress are intent on taking these benefits away

(1) While the United States of America spends on average nearly twice as much per capita on health care services as the next most costly nation, the United States ranks 32nd among all nations on life expectancy, and 41st on infant mortality.

(2) The number of uninsured Americans rose by more than 4,000,000 between 2008 and 2009 to a total of 51,000,000, or more than 1 of every 6 Americans.

(3) This rise in the number of uninsured Americans was the largest single-year increase since 1987 and was the result of a continued decline in private health coverage, primarily in employer-sponsored insurance.

(4) Small businesses around the country cannot afford to reinvest in their companies and create new jobs because their health care bills are going up 10 or 15 percent every year.

(5) American businesses are at an economic disadvantage, because their health care costs are so much higher than in other countries. Notably, auto- mobile manufacturers spend more on health care per automobile than on steel.

Though Republicans control the U.S. House and Democrats’ hold on the Senate took a hit in the 2010 election, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is trying once more to pass a Medicare-for-all single payer health care bill — something he tried to do in 2009 as an amendment to his party’s health care overhaul before Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) used a procedural move to force the progressive senator to withdraw his proposal.

The bill proposed by Sanders and McDermott is unlikely to pass; House Republicans have offered a spate of bills aimed at repealing parts of health reform that were viewed as mostly symbolic votes, since Democrats control the Senate and Oval Office.

Click here to view the full bill “American Health Security Act of 2011”

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