Liberals Push Dental Coverage for All, Health Insurance for Illegals--And More

By Susan Jones | January 20, 2015 | 9:26am EST

A liberal advocacy group says Congress should require all public programs (including Medicare and Medicaid) and private health plans in the health insurance marketplaces to cover adult dental care. (AP File Photo)

( - At a time when Republicans are trying to roll back certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act (if not the entire law), a liberal advocacy group is looking ahead to the next round of taxpayer-subsidized health care "reform."

Families USA says the ACA was a good start, but it has now outlined 19 specific proposals "to improve health care for everyone in our nation."

The plan, called Health Reform 2.0, would "improve coverage and extend care."

That means making dental coverage universally available; reducing cost-sharing, with low-cost, low-deductible plans; expanding Medicaid in every state; getting rid of fee-for-service care; enabling "public payers" (the government) to set prescription drug prices; and stopping hospital mergers and other "uncompetitive" provider consolidations that can drive up prices.

Health care for illegal immigrants

"One other coverage matter demands attention: the uninsured status of American immigrants," says Health Reform 2.0.

"At a time when Congress refuses to consider pathways to citizenship and scorns administrative proposals that would enable people to stay in the country, practical proposals to secure health coverage for immigrants are elusive.

"However, immigrants -- who often fill key jobs that disproportionately place them in harm's way -- should be able to obtain necessary health care. We must ensure that immigrants can receive health coverage so that they can get the care they need."

Families USA said the Affordable Care Act granted every legal resident the "right to health coverage," which it calls a "historic achievement."

"However, enacting this unprecedented legal right is not the same as making it a living reality. We must take additional steps to ensure that health coverage and care become concrete realities for everyone. In Health Reform 2.0, we identify the steps necessary to transform America’s health care system to ensure that all Americans are able to get the high-quality care they need, when they need it, at an affordable price."

The nonprofit group says in the years ahead, it will start building support for its radical proposals to speed their adoption:

"The time is right to promote this forward-looking agenda. Since meaningful social change does not occur overnight and is never easy, we must lay the groundwork now for the essential goals that lie ahead. It is in this spirit that we offer our call to action, Health Reform 2.0."

Families USA, aided in 2013 by a $1 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, collects "personal health care stories" of people who have benefited from Obamacare, then distributes those stories to the media.

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