November 13, 2007

SENATORS CRAPO AND LIEBERMAN SPONSOR HEALTHY AMERICANS ACT

Bipartisan effort to guarantee quality, affordable health care for every American now has 11 Senate sponsors

Washington, DC - The bipartisan Senate effort to reform the nation's ailing health care system took a step forward today as U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Bob Bennett (R-Utah) welcomed two more influential senators as sponsors of the Healthy Americans Act (S.334). U.S. Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, join a growing list of co-sponsors, which now totals 11 senators. Previously announced co-sponsors include: U.S. Senators Judd Gregg (R-New Hampshire), Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Bill Nelson (D-Florida), Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) and Norm Coleman (R-Minnesota).

Senator Wyden: "It is now evident that a bipartisan consensus exists to tackle comprehensive health care reform today. The support of Senators Lieberman and Crapo sends a message that the 47 million Americans without insurance shouldn't have to wait anymore."

Senator Bennett: "I'm delighted to have Senators Lieberman and Crapo join with us to help move The Healthy Americans Act through Congress. Their support reflects the building momentum behind this proposal and we hope it will encourage other senators to sign onto our effort to bring real, positive change to health care."

Senator Crapo: "The Healthy Americans Act is an important first step toward comprehensive bi-partisan health care reform in the United States. I applaud Senator Wyden's innovative plan, which aims to provide every American with health insurance while simultaneously recognizing the importance of a free market approach,"

Senator Lieberman: "Americans are rightly demanding that their elected officials provide badly needed leadership in confronting the hydra-headed crisis in health care. The Healthy Americans Act directly addresses the challenges of rising costs, shrinking coverage, over-burdened employers and persisting failure to provide for the 47 million people now completely uninsured. This legislation creates a comprehensive, fully-balanced plan to tackle these challenges. By realigning key provisions in the tax code, this legislation would achieve universal coverage without adding yet another burden to the federal budget. The legislation would also shield American business from ever-rising health care costs and, by unleashing market forces, protect the economy by reining in overall health care costs -- all while reassuring our families that their health care will always be there."

Introduced by Wyden and Bennett, the Healthy Americans Act is the first bipartisan, comprehensive health reform bill in more than 13 years. In addition to guaranteeing that every American can afford quality, private health insurance, Wyden-Bennett would: give Americans choice in where they get their health care; break the link between employment and insurance 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.

An independent analysis conducted by the Lewin Group estimates that even covering all Americans, the Healthy Americans Act could save more than $1.5 trillion in health care spending over the next 10 years.
In the Senate, the Healthy Americans Act is awaiting action by the Finance Committee. Senator Grassley is the ranking member and Senators Crapo, Stabenow and Wyden are members of the Committee.