March 10, 2005

CRAPO PUSHES TELEHEALTH AS MEMBER OFSENATE HIGH TECH TASK FORCE

Senator reappointed to Republican task force by Majority Leader Frist

Washington, DC â?? The U.S. Senateâ??s Republican High Tech Task Force for the 109th Congress will look more closely at the relationship between technology and issues like tax reform and health care, according to Idaho Senator Mike Crapo. Crapo and 17 of his colleagues have been asked by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to serve on the Task Force. It is Crapoâ??s second consecutive session to receive the assignment. â??High tech issues are everywhere in our lives,â?? Crapo told a news conference on Capitol Hill to announce the new Task Force members. â??We have made critical movement forward in areas like telehealth, which brings physicians closer to their patients with the use of technology. I also believe that we must act to continue to block Internet taxes and push for permanent tax credits for research and development efforts. Members of this body are well-served to advise the Senate on those issuesâ?? Frist formed the High Tech Task Force to being attention to technology and the role it plays in matters before the Senate. Frist, Crapo, and others point to how technology issues are driving the economy and improving the quality of life for all Americans. â??Technology is making medical care more effective as well as more accessible throughout the country,â?? Crapo added. â??Telehealth is extremely important to rural areas such as those in Idaho and programs are already at work or in development on the Coeur dâ??Alene Reservation and across Idaho health care facilities in an effort being coordinated by Idaho State University and other institutions.â?? Other members of the Senate Republican High Tech Task Force announced today are Chairman Senator John Ensign of Nevada, and Senators Wayne Allard, Colorado; George Allen, Virginia; Robert Bennett, Utah; Conrad Burns, Montana; Richard Burr, North Carolina; Norm Coleman, Minnesota; John Cornyn, Texas; Orrin Hatch, Utah; Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas; Gordon Smith, Oregon; John Sununu, New Hampshire; and John Thune, South Dakota. Joining Frist as ex-officio members of the Task Force are Senators Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee; Arlen Specter, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee; Ted Stevens, Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee; and John Warner, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. # # # FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at www.senate.gov/src/radio/crapo.