December 07, 2007

Baker's Dozen for the Healthy Americans Act

Washington D.C. - The bipartisan Senate effort to reform the nation's ailing health care system continued to move forward today as U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Bob Bennett (R-UT) welcomed U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) as a cosponsor of the "Healthy Americans Act" (S.334). Departing Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott (R-MS) also announced his support bringing the growing list of co-sponsors to 13 senators. Previously announced cosponsors include: U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and Mike Crapo (R-ID).

"Senator Carper and Lott's support for the Healthy Americans Act is an indication that bipartisan consensus on health care reform is possible," said Wyden. "After a Senate career largely defined by his leadership on partisan politics, it means a lot to me that Senator Lott would use one of his final days on the job to co-sponsor bipartisan health care reform legislation. While we can't pass the Healthy Americans Act in the next two weeks, I think Congress can take a cue from his leadership by looking for more ways to work together on the issues that matter to Americans most."

"There has been a lot of progress over the past few months with the Healthy Americans Act, and today's announcement that Senators Lott and Carper have joined as cosponsors only adds to it. We now have 13 senators signed onto this bill, and we hope more of our colleagues will follow suit," said Bennett.

"All Americans deserve access to quality, affordable health care," said Carper. "When a loved one is sick, we want to know that he or she is getting quality care, without worrying about how to afford the medical bills. I believe the Healthy Americans Act is a good first step toward making health care accessible and affordable for everyone. This legislation brings a bipartisan group of legislators to the table to start finding solutions."

Introduced by Wyden and Bennett, the Healthy Americans Act is the first bipartisan, comprehensive health reform bill in more than 13 years. In addition to guaranteeing that every American can afford quality, private health insurance, Wyden-Bennett would: give Americans choice in where they get their health care; break the link between employment and insurance to make health care portable from job to job (and continue if you lose your job); promote personal responsibility and preventative medicine and reform the insurance market so that insurers are forced to compete on price, benefits and quality.

An independent analysis conducted by the Lewin Group estimates that even covering all Americans, the Healthy Americans Act could save nearly $1.5 trillion in health care spending over the next 10 years.

In the Senate, the Healthy Americans Act is awaiting action by the Finance Committee. Senator Wyden is very pleased that several fellow Finance Committee members have signed on as co-sponsors of the legislation: Ranking Member Charles Grassley, Senator Debbie Stabenow and Senator Mike Crapo.

To learn more about S.334 visit and