U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) joined 14 fellow cosponsors of the Healthy Americans Act (S.334) in sending a letter to U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Barack Obama (D-IL) asking the presidential candidates to work with them on legislation to reform the nation's health care system.
“If there were one goal in Congress on which we could all agree, it would be having every American insured. Making sure that all Americans have genuine access to quality, affordable health care is one of the most important jobs Congress has before it,” Alexander said. “Republicans are ready to join with Democrats to take steps toward the goal of having every American insured, and I hope that both presidential candidates will help us get started this year.”
“No matter whom our next president is, on the first day of his term this bipartisan legislation can provide a starting point to pass meaningful health care reform. While changes will certainly need to be made, it reflects multiple points of agreement between Republicans and Democrats and proves that we can provide all Americans with access to affordable, private health coverage without adding to the federal deficit. I hope both presidential candidates will work with us so we can bring a bill to the floor next year and achieve a major accomplishment for the American people on the issue of health care,” Corker said.
Comprised of eight Democrats and eight Republicans, Senate cosponsors of the Healthy Americans Act include: U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Bob Bennett (R-Utah), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.).
Introduced by Wyden and Bennett, the Healthy Americans Act empowers Americans to choose their own affordable, portable health insurance policy from the private market. The legislation provides tax incentives to Americans to purchase health insurance, encourages states to reform medical liability laws, and strengthens the focus on wellness and preventative care rather than insuring people only when they are sick. A report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (Joint Tax) concluded that the Healthy Americans Act would be roughly budget neutral and would generate surpluses two years after implementation.
A copy of the senators’ letter is available at: http://wyden.senate.gov/issues/Legislation/Healthy Americans Act/presidents_letter.pdf