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Nov-13-2007 14:08printcomments

Senators Gain Momentum With Healthy Americans Act

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

Healthy kids
Photo courtesy: Blue Oregon

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - 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-OR) and Bob Bennett (R-UT) welcomed two more influential senators as sponsors of the Healthy Americans Act (S.334). U.S. Senators Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and Mike Crapo (R-ID), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, join a growing list of co-sponsors which now totals 11 senators. Previously announced cosponsors include: U.S. Senators Judd Gregg (R-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Norm Coleman (R-MN).

Introduced by Wyden and Bennett, the Healthy Americans Act is the first bipartisan, comprehensive health reform bill in more than 13 years, according to 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 Bob Bennett stated, “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.”

For his part, Senator Mike Crapo from Idaho says the Oregon Senator's plan gives both parties legislation they can embrace, “The Healthy Americans Act is an important first step towards 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 Joe Lieberman says Americans are right in demanding that their elected officials provide badly needed leadership in confronting the 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."

He says this legislation creates a comprehensive, fully-balanced plan to tackle these challenges. By realigning key provisions in the tax code, it would achieve universal coverage without adding yet another burden to the federal budget, Lieberman said.

"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.”

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.

To learn more about S.334 visit wyden.senate.gov/issues/Legislation/Healthy_Americans_Act.cfm and bennett.senate.gov.




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