The health care plank of the Democratic Party’s platform, released on Monday ahead of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., praises President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care reform law, but admits, “No law is perfect.”
A 15-person committee prepared the draft platform. Last year Obama signed into law a repeal of section 1099 of the reform law, which would have increased tax-reporting requirements for businesses. The Republican-led House of Representatives has repeatedly voted to repeal or defund the law.
Notable planks in the party’s 2012 platform include an endorsement of same-sex marriage for the first time, and a diminished emphasis on civil liberties over the 2008 party platform.
From the party’s platform:
Health Care. We believe accessible, affordable, high quality health care is part of the American promise, that Americans should have the security that comes with good health care, and that no one should go broke because they get sick. Over the determined opposition of Republicans, we enacted landmark reforms that are already helping millions of Americans, and more benefits will come soon.
As a result of our efforts, today, young Americans entering the workforce can stay on their parents’ plans. Insurers can no longer refuse to cover kids with pre-existing medical conditions. Insurance companies will no longer be able to arbitrarily cap and cancel coverage, or charge women more simply because of their gender. People with private insurance are getting preventive services like cancer screenings, annual well-woman visits, and FDA-approved contraception with no out-of-pocket costs. We’ve established new Offices of Minority Health, and are helping state Medicaid programs fund home and community-based services. Small businesses are receiving tax credits to help them cover their workers, and businesses and families are receiving rebates from insurers who overcharged them.
Soon, working families will finally have the security of knowing they won’t lose health care or be forced into bankruptcy if a family member gets sick or loses their job. And soon, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Medicaid will cover more working families. Those who don’t get insurance at work will be able to shop in new exchanges and will be eligible for new tax credits. As a result, all Americans will have access to health care. We heard powerful testimony before the platform drafting committee about the difference it will make in Americans’ lives when, for the first time, 30 million of our fellow citizens finally gain health insurance.
Mitt Romney and the Republican Party would repeal health reform. They are more concerned with playing politics than supporting families in this country. No law is perfect and Democrats stand willing to work with anyone to improve the law where necessary, but we are committed to moving forward. We will continue to stand up to Republicans working to take away the benefits and protections that are already helping millions of Americans every day. We refuse to go back to the days when health insurance companies had unchecked power to cancel your health policy, deny you coverage, or charge women more than men.
At the same time, the Affordable Care Act is not the end of efforts to improve health care for all Americans. Democrats will continue to fight for a strong health care workforce with an emphasis on primary care. We remain committed to eliminating disparities in health and will continue to make sure families have access to mental health and substance abuse services. We will strengthen Medicaid and oppose efforts to block grant the program, slash its funding, and leave millions more without health insurance. We will continue to invest in our public health infrastructure – ensuring that we are able to respond to emergencies and support community-based efforts to prevent disease. The Recovery Act and the health reform law made historic investments in Community Health Centers, and Democrats will continue to support these valuable institutions. We Democrats have increased overall funding to combat HIV/AIDS to record levels and will continue our nation’s fight against HIV/AIDS. President Obama established the first-ever comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy for responding to the domestic epidemic, which calls for reducing HIV incidence, increasing access to care, optimizing health outcomes, and reducing HIV-related health disparities. This is an evidence-based plan that is guided by science and seeks to direct resources to the communities at greatest risk, including gay men, black and Latino Americans, substance users, and others at high risk of infection. And we will continue to support America’s groundbreaking biomedical researchers in their lifesaving work.