December 23, 2009

19,000 Sign Crapo Health Care Petition

Senator brings Idahoans' concerns before fellow Senators

Washington, D.C. - More than 19,000 people, starting with Idahoans but spreading nationwide to all 50 states, have signed an online petition opposing the current health care reform legislation before the U.S. Senate. The online petition was prepared by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, who has been on the Senate floor and national cable television programs leading opposition to the bill because it raises taxes on the middle class, increases premiums for many people now carrying insurance, cuts senior programs and fails to lower health care costs.

"There has not been a piece of legislation this decade that has come with more opposition to it than this health care reform bill," Crapo said. "I support health reforms, but not a bill like this that puts the government in charge of doctor-patient relationships. Three days ago, I asked Idahoans if they would join me in petitioning the United States Senate to defeat this bill. The response has been remarkable. We now have more than 19,000 signatures, and that number continues to grow by the hour.

"The more that Idahoans, and Americans, know about this bill, the more they dislike it," Crapo added. "Health care is a personal, private and sensitive matter among the individual, his or her doctor and family. This bill makes health care a public policy decision controlled by a government bureaucracy. The thousands of people signing this petition want the Congress to listen to them, carefully deliberate and pass a fair solution to health care reform. But the majority in Congress is moving full steam ahead, in hopes of passing this wrongheaded bill before public sentiment overwhelms them, while ignoring the will of thousands of Idahoans and Americans."

Crapo noted private-sector reforms can improve the health care system, without the tax increases, pork barrel spending, sweetheart deals for votes, Medicare cuts and unconstitutional burdens on state governments that the present bill, H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, promises if it is passed. Among the steps Crapo endorses are:

• Allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines.
• Allowing small businesses to band together to negotiate group rates for insurance
• Requiring pricing disclosures from health care providers to promote a competitive, consumer-driven health care market.
• Offering incentives for patients and the private sector to create wellness programs and other efficiencies in health care delivery.

"Thousands of Idahoans and fellow Americans are signing this petition because they desperately want Congress to listen, but they know their collective voices are being ignored by the Administration and the Majority in Congress. This petition is one way they can make themselves heard in hopes that Congress will pass needed and sensible health care reform-but not this bill. I will continue to aggressively press their wishes here on the floor of the United States Senate," Crapo added.