Healthcare (October 2009)

Jumpstarting a wellness society

The Senate Finance Committee has completed work on its health reform bill, and I applaud committee chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) for conducting an open, bipartisan process — just as we did in the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee — with senators from both parties offering amendments and shaping the bill in substantive ways. With work now complete in all five congressional committees involved in healthcare, the core elements of this landmark legislation are now clear.

Fears over public option widespread but aren’t justified

Choices regarding healthcare are some of the most personal decisions we make. The ability to choose one’s doctor and decide on a course of treatment with one’s physician is an undeniable American right, and so is access to quality affordable healthcare. As Congress works toward comprehensive healthcare reform, the debate in our country has become intense. While people on both sides of this issue are very passionate, we must always be respectful of one another and focus on having a constructive dialogue on the merits of the bill.

The price of chronic disease

“Unless you’re Bill Gates, you can’t afford this disease,” Elizabeth’s doctor told her mother shortly after Elizabeth was diagnosed with Chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) at age 19.

How to get reform now

The urgency of healthcare reform is obvious. More than 30 million uninsured Americans. Rapidly rising premiums. Rampant litigation. And an economic downturn that is only exacerbating the situation. Everyone agrees we need to reform the way we deliver healthcare. But the path to that destination seems somehow elusive.

This Halloween has tricks but no treats for small businesses

The traditions of Halloween usually bring to mind excitement and the thrills of sugar highs. However, small-business owners should be cautioned this year for who might be knocking on their door. President Barack Obama and his team of lawmakers crafting healthcare reform will be at the doors of small-business owners with more tricks than treats.

Health reform bill maintains VA programs

I entered politics to provide all Americans access to affordable quality health care. The bill passed in my committee - the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act – takes the right approach to achieve this goal, including the presence of a public option in the health insurance market. In an honest and open debate, I believe health insurance would be recognized as a shared responsibility between individuals, employers, and the government and that a public health insurance option would be recognized as necessary to achieve competition in the insurance market. However, in the course of our national health care debate there has been altogether too much overheated rhetoric and too little calm discussion of the facts.