Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) 06/10/09 05:04 PM EDT
Today, the diagnosis for our nation’s healthcare system is bleak. Costs
are skyrocketing, the quality of care doesn’t always measure up, and
too many Americans are unable to get the coverage they need. What’s
more, these maladies are infecting our entire economy. Healthcare
spending is outpacing economic growth at an alarming rate. Businesses
are straining to provide health insurance for their employees and
remain competitive in a global marketplace. And the economy as a whole
lost over $200 billion in worker productivity in 2007 because of the
poor health of people who can’t get care.
Sec. Kathleen Sebelius 06/10/09 05:03 PM EDT
In the coming weeks as Congress considers essential health reform
legislation, one thing is crystal-clear: America simply cannot afford
the status quo when it comes to healthcare. Healthcare in this country
costs too much, insures too few Americans and fails to deliver the
quality care we need. It is both unacceptable and unsustainable.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa
) 06/10/09 05:02 PM EDT
On July 4, 1776, America’s earliest political leaders declared
independence from royal sovereignty and established the historic
foundation for our system of self-government.
Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) 06/10/09 05:01 PM EDT
As we undertake healthcare reform, we must make increasing competition
our top priority in order to get costs under control and give consumers
Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) 06/10/09 05:01 PM EDT
A key indicator of the health crisis facing our nation is the rising
number of Americans who lack quality health coverage. This year nearly
one in four individuals will either be underinsured or without any
health plan whatsoever — and we know the devastating consequences of
that. Prevention isn’t addressed, diagnoses are missed, and care is
deferred. This contributes to more severe illness, long-term
disabilities, higher costs, medical bankruptcies, and — too often —
lives shortened or lost.
Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D-Md.) 06/10/09 04:59 PM EDT
The facts are clear. Our healthcare system is failing too many
Americans. The current high costs of healthcare hurt individuals,
families, and businesses in every community across the country. Small
businesses are forced to shoulder a disproportionate amount of the cost
of our disjointed and inefficient system. We cannot continue on the
present course, with businesses small and large crumbling under the
weight of these costs and more working people are going without care or
struggling to pay increased high premiums and deductibles. It is time
to overhaul healthcare so that everyone is covered, we reduce costs for
families, businesses and government, and we give people the choice they
deserve through real competition.
Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) 06/10/09 04:59 PM EDT
Let’s take the best-case scenario: Healthcare reform legislation
includes a strong public option and a path to healthcare coverage,
finally, for the 50 million Americans who have none today.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) 06/10/09 04:58 PM EDT
Increasing healthcare costs are crushing the budgets of families and
American businesses, making us less competitive in the ever-growing
global market, positioning Medicare and Medicaid in serious danger,
damaging our long-term fiscal stability, and worst of all, causing
Americans to continue to go without basic healthcare coverage that in
the end continues to drive up health care costs and weaken our economy.
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) 06/10/09 04:57 PM EDT
Haste, as you’ve probably heard countless times, makes waste. Here in
Congress, the costs and consequences of rushing to act can be grave.
These risks are particularly critical to bear in mind as Congress
begins action on healthcare reform. The wrong action would not only
waste hundreds of billions of dollars, it would put the healthcare of
every American family on the line.
Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) 06/10/09 04:57 PM EDT
During the presidential campaign, then-Sen. Barack Obama said every
American should have access to a healthcare system just like his. He
always failed to follow up that statement with the facts. Every federal
employee — presidents, park rangers and postal employees all have
access to the same plan.
Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) 06/10/09 04:57 PM EDT
When I first took my oath as a physician back in 1977, I vowed to
“first, do no harm.” I’m beginning to wonder why members of Congress
are not required to take the same oath. There are so many proposals
floating around Congress these days that would surely do more harm than
good. Cap-and-trade comes to mind. But perhaps more dangerous is the
idea of a public “government” plan.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) 06/10/09 04:57 PM EDT
The true test of a healthcare system is how effectively and affordably
it delivers care, not how profitable it is for business. Around the
country, we see millions of people with inadequate or no coverage,
families who go to sleep at night knowing they are one serious illness
away from bankruptcy, and rising ranks of the unemployed who face going
it alone in the prohibitively expensive individual coverage market — or
worse, going without insurance at all. So, while insurance companies
have unabashedly experienced record profits, it is clear that our
healthcare system is failing.
Rep. Charles W. Boustany Jr. (R-La.) 06/10/09 04:56 PM EDT
As Washington debates health reform, many politicians seem to have
forgotten what the whole debate is about — patients being able to get
good care from their doctors at a reasonable price.
Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) 06/10/09 04:55 PM EDT
Amidst all the moving parts of a national healthcare reform package,
one simple, but central question must rise above everything else to
guide our efforts: Who do we empower to provide the highest quality
healthcare — patients and doctors, or the federal government?
Tom Daschle 06/10/09 04:55 PM EDT
The ongoing debate involving the inclusion of an option for a public
health insurance plan has taken on very clear political overtones. It
has become the ideological ground zero. Most Democrats strongly believe
that it should be an option. Most Republicans strongly oppose it.