February 14, 2007

CRAPO SEEKS BIPARTISAN HEALTH CARE REFORMS

Nine colleagues join Senator in letter to receptive President Bush

Washington, DC - Improved health care for all Americans may become a major focus of the 110th Congress because of a letter signed by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo and nine colleagues in the Senate. The bipartisan letter to President Bush drew a receptive response from his spokesman Tony Fratto, who indicated meetings between the White House and Senate staff will likely come as a result of the letter."We have a real opportunity now to work in a bipartisan manner with the President to make sure more Idahoans and Americans have access to health care," Crapo said. "The President's positive response to our letter means we can help both individuals and the private sector who are struggling with health care issues. People need access to affordable care and businesses, many of which provide that care, have been at a global disadvantage because their competitors get health care for free."Following a meeting with Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Crapo co-signed a letter from Wyden and eight other Senators, four Republicans and four Democrats, to President Bush. The letter says "we disagree with those who say the Senate is too divided and too polarized to pass comprehensive health care legislation....We want to fix health care now."Crapo said he is pleased the coalition is looking at health care reform from several angles, from individuals to businesses to professional health care providers. While no specific reforms have been put forward, he said the agreement to work together in a bipartisan fashion and the President's willingness to do so means that "historic improvement for health care for all Americans is more than just good politics. It is a real possibility during this Congress."The Senators joining Crapo and Wyden in signing the health care letter include Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), Kent Conrad (D-North Dakota), Robert Bennett (R-Utah), Ken Salazaar (D-Colorado), Trent Lott (R-Mississippi), Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), John Thune (R-South Dakota) and Herb Kohl (D-Wisconsin). A copy of the letter is enclosed.# # #