While there are many health care reform bills on the table, it's clear to me, and has been for some time, that no single approach has enough support to get enough votes for passage.  The contentiousness in this Congress has also been an impediment to progress.  In the meantime, patients and their families across the country are paying a high price, both financially and emotionally.

The federal government should be helping the states as they try new approaches, not hindering them.  But, this bill does not throw a bunch of money at the problem of the uninsured.  We're looking for systematic change and encouraging innovation.

My colleagues joined with me in a bipartisan working group, advised by health care policy experts from liberal and conservative think tanks and our able staff members.  This collaboration, in these partisan times is rare, gratifying, and another sign of meaningful progress.