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Diverse, Bipartisan Health Care Reform Voices Announce Agreement on Key Principles

Principles emphasize reforms that support economic opportunity

WASHINGTON, April 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hope Street Group, a bipartisan coalition of business, civic and policy leaders, today released its "Health Care Agenda for an Opportunity Economy," a core set of reform principles developed by its Bipartisan Working Group. The group is tackling health care reform because of the significant role it plays in the economy, accounting for almost 25 percent of all economic opportunity drivers. The working group, which includes long-time reformers and new voices, today sent a letter to President Obama encouraging that this package of recommendations be part of reform proposals.

Hope Street Group's Economic Opportunity Index (EOI) demonstrates that better health implies more capacity for work, but also more productive working years and a higher quality of life.

"We know in an Opportunity Economy, a thriving economic environment and fair access to health care, education and jobs go hand in hand," said Hope Street Group Executive Director Monique Nadeau. "America's prosperity and global competitiveness depend on it."

An Opportunity Economy is one in which economic opportunity is possible for everyone who works hard and invests in themselves, and where our nation prospers as a result.

The "Health Care Agenda for an Opportunity Economy" calls for a health care system that guarantees and enforces high quality health care for all Americans, realigns incentives, requires price transparency and is fiscally responsible and sustainable.

Supporters include Sen. Robert Bennett, R-UT; Rep. Jim Cooper, D-TN; Sr. Carol Keehan, president and CEO, Catholic Health Association; Jeff Korsmo, executive director of the Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center; Bill Novelli, CEO, AARP; John Podesta, CEO, Center for American Progress; David Walker, president and CEO of the Peter Peterson Foundation; and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-OR.

"Reforming health care can no longer be a partisan project that sits idle on the sidelines while our national debt continues to grow and millions of Americans remain uninsured," said Sen. Bennett. "Allowing the free market to promote a fiscally responsible health care system is vital to ensuring that we will see positive change for every American when it comes to delivering their health care."

"We can't afford to keep our broken health care system, and we must bring people together to help create solutions for all Americans," said Novelli. "The biggest opportunity is health promotion and disease prevention so we can keep people well and not just treat them after they get sick."

"It's clear that our country can't fix the economic problems facing us today unless we reform our health care system - and bipartisanship is going to be the ticket to get us there," said Sen. Wyden. "The principles outlined in the Hope Street Group's letter offer a blueprint to find common ground and help move the country toward real health care reform."

"Hope Street Group's principles represent a solid framework for comprehensive health care reform," said Walker. "It is critically important that any comprehensive reform efforts improve our nation's overall financial condition and fiscal outlook so they are both feasible and sustainable."

"The principles we're releasing today are the product of substantive discussions among people with different interests and ideas for reform," said Rep. Cooper. "As Ron Wyden and Bob Bennett know better than anyone, we can find plenty of common ground if we give up the sound bites and political point-scoring and agree to work together. Now our challenge is to translate these principles into policy right away. Waiting a few more months isn't an option for the millions of Americans without health insurance."

The Bipartisan Working Group began meeting in June 2008. Later this month, Hope Street Group holds its third annual Opportunity Economics Colloquium, during which participants will join with other political, business and civic leaders to address some of the toughest questions in health care reform, including how to pay for it.

More information:

Additional quotes from signatories

EOI health care statistics

Hope Street Group is a bipartisan non-profit dedicated to building an Opportunity Economy in America, where anyone who works hard and invests in themselves has the opportunity to succeed, and where our nation prospers as a result. It convenes business, political and civic leaders online and in person to formulate policy proposals; educates policy makers about the foundations of economic opportunity; builds community and support for its American Dream Agenda; and provides a platform for social entrepreneurs to be heard and to engage on economic opportunity issues.

CONTACT: Pat Lewis


SOURCE Hope Street Group
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