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Former Senate Majority Leaders Baker, Daschle and Dole Release Bipartisan Framework for Comprehensive Health Reform
Date:6/17/2009

Budget-neutral plan ensures cost savings, quality improvement and affordable coverage for all Americans

WASHINGTON, June 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Former U.S. Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle and Bob Dole, members of the Bipartisan Policy Center's (BPC) Advisory Board, today released a bipartisan, budget-neutral framework for comprehensive health reform to ensure that every American has affordable, quality health coverage. The Leaders' Project on the State of American Health Care report, entitled "Crossing Our Lines: Working Together to Reform the U.S. Health System," offers realistic, bipartisan and politically-viable policy recommendations to address the delivery, cost, coverage and financing challenges facing the nation's health care system.

The report calls for refocusing the nation's health care system on a commitment to quality and value -- rather than quantity and volume -- to improve medical outcomes and constrain unsustainable cost growth. In so doing, the Leaders underscore the need to rededicate the country to prevention and wellness as a better prescription to address the flaws of our health care system. To achieve the commitment of coverage for all Americans, the report embraces the need for strong insurance reforms that require guaranteed issue; the elimination of medical underwriting for pre-existing conditions and rating limitations; new state and regional coverage options through exchanges; reforms that constrain cost growth; and financial assistance through Medicaid and tax credits.

In developing their recommendations, the Leaders addressed many politically sensitive issues, recognizing that effective agreements often require tough choices. Specifically, their budget-neutral plan calls for: a personal responsibility requirement for all Americans to purchase affordable health insurance; refundable tax credits that limit premium contributions to a percentage of income; tax
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SOURCE Bipartisan Policy Center
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