MEMBERS OF CONGRESS CALL FOR BIPARTISAN HEALTH CARE REFORM
A group of Members of Congresstwo Democrats and two Republicanstoday emphasized the need for health care reform to be bipartisan. On the day after three former Senate majority leaders released their bipartisan health care reform proposal, Reps. Jim Cooper (D-TN), Mike Castle (R-DE), Parker Griffith (D-AL) and Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) called for similar bipartisanship in the House and Senate.
"Health care reform should be our top priority, period," said Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN). "But the Senate's restrictive reconciliation process will make real reform impossible. That's why Democrats and Republicans must work together to pass a bill that meets President Obama's goals, lowering cost, raising quality and covering all Americans. Yesterday Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and Howard Baker showed it can be done. Today a bipartisan group of members of Congress said we're ready and willing to make it happen."
"Real reform in Congress is best done when we work together," said Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE). "Improving health care is indisputably one of the most important things we can do to make a difference in the lives of Americans, but we must begin the conversation with cost in mind, not as an afterthought. Costs should be lower and quality must be higher."
"For health care reform to be the success that Americans want and deserve, we need a plan with bipartisan support. Our goal is to create a plan that is uniquely American, and this requires input and compromise from all sides," said Rep. Parker Griffith (D-AL). "Successful health care reform will make our nation and our people stronger and healthier - both physically and economically. The decisions made this summer will affect everyone, and Americans are counting on the leaders in Washington to work together and make wise decisions as health care reform comes before the House and the Senate."
"Health care cost and access are issues for Americans regardless of their political beliefs, and members of Congress ought to be working across the aisle to solve these problems," said Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO). "Clearly, the one-party solutions on the table are even more expensive than anyone anticipated, and it will take responsible ideas from both members of both parties in order to bring cost and access into balance. I'm excited and proud to be a member of this open-minded group of members who are taking both the cost and the access issues seriously in the quest for workable, affordable health care reform proposals."