Honorable Steve Kagen, M.D.

Wisconsin's former 8th District Representative

January 4, 2007 to December 22, 2010

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Kagen Brings Doctors and Lawmakers Together to Reform Our Health Care System

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 15, 2009
Contact:  Jake Rubin               
Office: (202) 225-5665                                                                            

Kagen Brings Doctors and Lawmakers Together to Reform Our Health Care System

(APPLETON, WI)  Congressman Steve Kagen M.D is uniting health care professionals throughout Wisconsin to guarantee access to affordable health care for all of us.  The Wisconsin Medical Society has announced its support of Kagen’s Standard Benefit Plan.  President Barack Obama is speaking in front of the American Medical Association today continuing his tour to rally support for his health care plan that began with a trip to Green Bay last week.  Kagen accompanied the President back to Washington on Air Force One where they discussed health care.

“As a physician and a legislator, I am working hard to be a bridge between medical communities and elected leaders who are currently crafting health care reform legislation,” said Dr. Kagen. “I have been working with doctors throughout the country, patients across my district, my colleagues in Congress and the President of the United States to guarantee access to affordable care for all of us.  Wisconsin Medical Society’s support for my Standard Benefit Plan is a key step in that effort.”

The Standard Benefit Plan was developed in consultation with Kagen’s Health Care Advisory Committee and is one of Kagen’s “Essential Elements of Health Care Reform”.

The Standard Health Benefit Plan must be available to all citizens and legal residents; one that covers medical services and products for basic preventative care, episodic acute and chronic care – including coverage for prescription medications, dental care and mental health conditions.  A key component of any standardized health care plan must be an accommodation for payment reforms that encourage improved health outcomes, focusing upon population health improvement and patient condition care. All costs for the Standard Plan, as well as any and all medical services and products associated with it, must always be openly disclosed and transparent, allowing consumers to purchase these essential services and products at the lowest prices available within specific Metropolitan Statistical Areas.  Costs for such coverage and care must be Tax Deductible for the sponsoring entity, and for all health care consumers, and including costs for all prevention services covered within the Standard Plan. Given this Standard Plan as a base, costs for additional coverage for medical services and/or products above and beyond the Standard Plan would also be tax deductible. Without the Standard Plan as a base, however, no costs would be tax deductible.

A copy of the plan can be found here.

“All patients across Wisconsin and the nation want to keep their freedom to choose their own physician, while securing access to the very highest quality care available.  Congressman Kagen’s idea does just that and more,” said Dr. Tim Bartholow of the Wisconsin Medical Society.

Dr. Kagen said, “By establishing a federal standard for all health insurers, like this Standard Health Benefit Plan, we will immediately begin to drive down health care costs for every patient, for every small business owner, and for every government at every level.  When both private and public health insurers are compelled by federal legislation to offer the same Standard Health Benefit Plan in a transparent medical marketplace, with no discrimination due to any pre-existing medical conditions, we will finally be able to compare one company against the other and use the leverage of the free market system to drive down insurance premiums for all of us.”

Dr.  Kagen is triple Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology, and was named by Wisconsin physicians as one of the “Best Doctors in America.”

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