Consumers Union, the public policy division of nonprofit Consumer Reports, writes to express our support for the bipartisan HELP Committee hearing on stabilizing the insurance markets. Consumers Union has a long history of working for a fairer and more just marketplace for consumers. We believe all Americans deserve care and coverage that is accessible, affordable, understandable, fairly priced, and meets high, consistent standards for quality and safety. The Affordable Care Act was an important step towards this goal, allowing more than 20 million consumers to purchase private insurance through exchanges or benefit from the Medicaid expansion, thus lowering the uninsurance rate in our nation to its lowest point ever.
We urge you to protect the Medicaid program and to separate it from discussions on how to improve the private health insurance market. We also urge you to enact the following three components to provide needed stability to the individual and small group markets.