April 07, 2009

Crapo To Hold Health Care Forums Across Idaho

Seeks input from Idahoans on health care during April meetings

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo announced today he plans to chair health care forums in four Idaho cities this month to hear from Idahoans about health care reform and related issues before the Congress. Crapo is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which has primary jurisdiction over a number of health reform issues as well as tax issues which may be under consideration as the Senate takes up health care legislation. Although he signed on as a co-sponsor to one bipartisan health care bill last year, Crapo said it is clear that many divergent ideas on health care reform will be considered before any final votes are made.

Crapo noted Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Montana) has outlined three major topics for the health care discussions: delivery system reform, coverage and revenue issues. Crapo has planned forums in Coeur d'Alene, Lewiston, Boise, and Idaho Falls in the next two weeks to hear the comments from Idahoans in these three areas. He said more Idaho forums may be scheduled later as warranted.

"Obviously in our economic situation, health care is an increasingly important topic for all Americans and it is timely to begin listening sessions on the issue as Congress begins this debate," Crapo said. "While affordable health care coverage is even more critical for families during these difficult economic times, issues such as patient choice and access to care, particularly in rural areas, should remain top priorities."

Crapo plans to invite a wide range of industry stakeholders, including health care providers, patients, physicians, small businesses and other consumers to discuss the long-term sustainability of health care. "These forums will provide an opportunity for Idahoans to share their thoughts, ideas, concerns and priorities regarding health care reform in Idaho and America,' he added. "I encourage everyone interested in health care to write or e-mail me their thoughts and attend these Idaho sessions."

Each session will last 90 minutes. Speakers will be limited to five-minute presentations; all interested Idahoans are encouraged to write Crapo about their ideas or attending the forum. Idahoans can contact the Crapo regional office in their area or submit comments to healthcare_forums@crapo.senate.gov.


Crapo Health Care Forum schedule:

Tuesday, April 14
Boise 6:00-7:30 p.m. Ada County Commissioners Hearing Room
200 West Front Street

Wednesday, April 15
Coeur d'Alene Noon-1:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene High School Auditorium
5530 N. 4th Street

Wednesday, April 15
Lewiston 6:30-8:00 p.m. Lewis-Clark State College, Lewis Hall, Room 100.  500 8th Avenue

Friday, April 17
Idaho Falls 12:30-2:00 p.m. Idaho Falls City Council Chambers
680 Park Avenue