July 28, 2008

Crapo, Colleagues Seek Presidential Input On Health Care Reform

Co-sponsors of Healthy Americans Act want to work with McCain, Obama

Washington, DC - A bipartisan group of Senators seeking to improve health care programs, including Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, has written to its colleagues and Presidential hopefuls, asking both to begin working with the group on comprehensive improvements to the health care system. In a letter to Senators John McCain and Barack Obama, Crapo and the other 15 co-sponsors of the Healthy Americans Act said the sooner they can begin working with the candidates and their advisors, the sooner health care improvements can be implemented once one of them becomes President.

"We believe it is vital that we start working now to ensure that all of our people have high quality care early in the next administration," wrote the bipartisan coalition of 16 senators who are currently sponsoring the Healthy Americans Act. "Like you both, we are deeply committed to avoiding a replay of the bitter, highly polarized health reform effort during the 1990's…We believe that starting with a strong, bipartisan coalition of Senators and a sound fiscal base will allow a reform initiative to survive the assaults of politics and interests that afflict any serious reform proposal."

In addition to Crapo, the Healthy American Act is sponsored by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Bob Bennett (R-Utah), Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), Bill Nelson (D-Florida), Judd Gregg (R-New Hampshire), Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana), Norm Coleman (R-Minnesota), Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut), Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), Tom Carper (D-Delaware) and Gordon Smith (R-Oregon).

The legislation is the first bipartisan, comprehensive health reform bill to receive such widespread support. In addition to guaranteeing that every American can afford quality, private health insurance, the plan would: give Americans choice in where they get their health care; modernize the employer-employee relationship to make health care portable from job to job (and continue if you lose your job); promote personal responsibility and preventative medicine; and reform the insurance market so that insurers are forced to compete on price, benefits and quality. Recently, the Congressional Budget Office concluded that the Healthy Americans Act could accomplish these goals while also generating budget surpluses after the first two years of implementation.