The Louisiana Budget Project has joined more than 750 nonprofit groups and individuals across the nation in calling on President Barack Obama and Congress to support strong affordability and coverage provisions in final health reform legislation.

The letter, submitted in conjunction with Community Catalyst, a national nonprofit advocacy organization and the Louisiana Consumer Health Care Coalition, does not endorse either bill in its entirety. Community Catalyst maintains that, “We need the best parts of both bills to ensure all families can afford health care. The House bill provides stronger affordability protections for low-income families, and the Senate bill is better for moderate-income households.”

Because the House legislation covers five million more people than the Senate bill, the letter urges the President and Congress “to support the coverage provisions in the House bill, so that millions of Americans are not left uninsured after the passage of comprehensive health reform.”

The letter also recognizes that there are elements of both bills that aid lower-income and middle-income families in their abilities to afford health insurance coverage and urges politicians “to take the best elements of both approaches to create legislation that would protect all families from costs they cannot afford.”

“We live in the only industrialized nation where a citizen can be forced into bankruptcy due to medical costs associated with an injury or illness,” said LBP Director Edward Ashworth. “LBP endorses legislation that helps low and middle-income families obtain affordable health care.”