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Bipartisan Group Of Senators Will Work With Obama On Health Care Reform

Crapo one of 15 Senators seeking "fiscal responsibility"

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo is one of 15 Senators seeking to open discussions on health care reform with President-elect Barack Obama. In a letter sent to Obama today, Crapo and fellow co-sponsors of the Healthy Americans Act introduced last year noted that the time is right to collaborate on health reforms that will expand coverage yet stay fiscally responsible. In the letter sent today to Obama, the legislation's sponsors, including Crapo, wrote that "Congress is finally ready to tackle what is unquestionably one of the most important and challenging issues facing our nation.

"Over the last two years, we have come together as Democrats and Republicans to cosponsor the Healthy Americans Act because we believe that for health reform to succeed it must be bipartisan," the Senators wrote. "We also believe that in these tough economic times with soaring budget deficits, it is critical to fix our broken health care system without breaking the bank. We believe Congress must explore financing mechanisms that would maximize the use of existing health care dollars and ideally produce savings in the future. To that end, it will be critical to work with the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation to fund ways to meet health care reform goals while also maintaining fiscal responsibility."

As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Crapo will have a leadership role over any reform in health care and related tax measures. Other Senators signing the letter included Senators Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Robert Bennett (R-Utah), Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), Thomas Carper (D-Delaware), Norm Coleman (R-Minnesota), Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania), Judd Gregg (R-New Hampshire), Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana), Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut), Bill Nelson (D-Florida), Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) and Bob Corker (R-Tennessee).

"Our group seeks to sit down with the President-elect and his advisers to discuss cost-effective health care reform ideas," Crapo said. "The Healthy Americans Act legislation can be used as a model to ensure that all Americans have health coverage that is affordable and portable, that we can implement market reforms for private insurance and modernize federal tax rules for coverage, and that we can promote prevention and wellness activities while making choices for consumers more transparent and affordable."