May 01, 2008

Crapo: Healthy Americans Act Gets Good Review From CBO

Report released today says proposal will generate savings in the long term

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, a co-sponsor of S. 334, the Healthy Americans Act, received the news today that the bipartisan legislation has received a favorable cost review from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The report, released today, concludes the proposal would be budget neutral in just a few years after enactment and would actually generate savings in the long term. Crapo, along with the other Senate sponsors of the bill, were briefed today on a CBO report regarding the measure, which will reduce costs and improve health choices for all Americans.

At a Capitol Hill news conference today following the briefing, Crapo joined with the bill's main sponsors, Senators Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Robert Bennett (R-Utah), to discuss the preliminary cost estimates showing the plan could be self-sustaining within six years. After initial start-up costs, the program could show a budget surplus after 2014. Also attending the news conference with Crapo were Senators Thomas Carper (D-Delaware), Robert Corker (R-Tennessee), Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana), Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan).

"Today's CBO report shows this plan will not only be budget neutral within a few years of enactment, but it will generate savings in our health care system in the long run," Crapo said. "The measure is not a socialized healthcare system that could break our economy and push taxes sky-high. For those who are having difficulty accessing health care, the Healthy Americans Act has promise because it keeps intact our private health care system backed by insurance premiums. While I don't agree with everything in the bill, Congress must find bipartisan compromises to improve health care and this plan can be self-sustaining and maintain free-market health benefits. The emphasis stays where it belongs-on individual choice and free market health care involving doctors and patients."

The Healthy Americans Act, with fourteen Senate sponsors, is the first bipartisan health reform bill to cover all Americans not already eligible for Medicare or military coverage. The plan provides for affordable, private health insurance and offers participants choices how they receive health care. It allows for health care plans to transfer with employment changes, promotes proactive wellness plans and reforms the insurance market so that insurers are forced to compete on price, benefits and quality. In addition, all taxpayers would receive a standard tax deduction for health care costs.