Healthcare (July 2009)

Healthcare: Moral imperative, fiscal imperative

All over this country, families struggle with rising health costs that threaten their financial stability, while businesses find that they cannot hire more workers and expand because they are weighted down by the high cost of healthcare. We pay 50 percent more for healthcare than the next most expensive country, though our outcomes are not necessarily better. We spend one of every six dollars in this country on healthcare. If we do nothing, in 30 years, one-third of our economic output will be tied up in the healthcare system. As the president has said, the status quo is simply unacceptable. The American people have waited decades for reform, and we owe it to them to act. We cannot wait any longer.

Healthcare: Insurance policies must have transparency, accountability

We have heard a lot about transparency and accountability in recent months. One place where these are desperately needed is in health insurance. Simply put, there are entirely too many barriers to informed decision-making in our current health insurance market.

Healthcare: Emphasis on wellness saves lives and money

As the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee concludes markup of its comprehensive health reform bill, the key elements of this landmark legislation are now clear.

Healthcare: Senate legislation much weaker than single-payer, but has merit

Our healthcare system is disintegrating. Today, 46 million people have no health insurance. Even more are underinsured with high deductibles and co-payments. One reason more than 18,000 Americans die every year from preventable illnesses is that 60 million people, including many with insurance, do not have their own doctor.

Healthcare: Piling up debt, Democrats give GOP ideas lip service

Americans need healthcare reform this year. Republicans believe we must have a healthcare plan that you can afford and that your government can afford, so your children do not get a big debt piled on top of them. We must make sure everyone is covered. And we must make sure that Washington does not come in between you and your doctor.

Healthcare: Insurance policies must have transparency, accountability

We have heard a lot about transparency and accountability in recent months. One place where these are desperately needed is in health insurance. Simply put, there are entirely too many barriers to informed decision-making in our current health insurance market.

Healthcare: Patients’ Choice Act would provide tax credits, not one-size-fits-all plan

Americans across the country agree that we need to reform our healthcare system. While there are many different proposals being discussed, addressing high costs and the lack of access to quality care have to be our priorities. Any serious piece of legislation must promote wellness, prevention and chronic disease management; provide coverage for everyone regardless of income or employment; and be sustainable for future generations. That is why we joined with Reps. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) to introduce the Patients’ Choice Act, a bill that delivers on the principles of promoting universal access to quality and affordable healthcare, but does so without adding billions of dollars in new debt or taxes.

Healthcare: Capitalizing on common ground

There is no debate in Washington more critical, more consequential, and more controversial than the current debate over healthcare reform. Unfortunately, Washington is missing an opportunity to truly engage the American people in the debate they deserve — keeping details under wraps, making decisions behind closed doors, and rushing legislation through Congress without regard to legitimate concerns and alternative solutions.

Healthcare: The prescription for America: Build culture of healthy living

As Congress takes on the essential task of strengthening the healthcare system, we have an extraordinary opportunity to do something right and good for the American people. While the challenges before us are multiple, shifting the healthcare paradigm, from a system that treats the symptoms of sickness and disease to one that promotes lifelong wellness and prevention for all Americans, would be a meaningful policy start.

Healthcare: Viable options not considered

Most everyone agrees that we need to reform healthcare and the way that it is paid for in this country. The United States has the best healthcare in the world, but we still have significant problems. Our challenge is to make improvements without endangering the high-quality care we have come to expect.

Healthcare: Regina Benjamin is a welcome choice for U.S. surgeon general

The president’s pick for public health advocate, soon-to-be Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin, bodes well for Americans falling through the cracks of our healthcare system. Impacted by personal loss of three family members from diabetes, high blood pressure, HIV and lung cancer, and by her work with uninsured immigrant communities from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, Benjamin’s awareness of health disparities, and relentlessness in fighting preventable illness, is most welcome.