March 14, 2008

Senators Inouye and Corker Sponsor Healthy Americans Act

Bipartisan effort to guarantee quality, affordable health care for every American now has 14 Senate sponsors

Washington DC - The bipartisan Senate effort to fix the nation's ailing health care system grew today as U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Bob Bennett (R-UT) welcomed two key Senate sponsors of the Healthy Americans Act (S. 334). U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI), the Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee and second-most senior member on the Senate Appropriations Committee and U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), a former mayor, state finance commissioner, and entrepreneur who knows first-hand the health care challenges faced by businesses and local governments, lent their support as co-sponsors of the universal health care reform legislation. The growing list of co-sponsors now totals fourteen senators including: 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), Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Tom Carper (D-DE).

"With today's prominent additions, now fourteen U.S. Senators have come together to say that guaranteeing health care for every American is essential to reforming the nation's broken health care system," said Wyden. "This bipartisan effort demonstrates that universal coverage is more than just a political pipedream -- it is now within our reach."

"Health care remains one of the greatest challenges facing our country and it will take Republicans and Democrats working together to deliver a rational plan for genuine health care reform," said Bennett. "We are proud to add Senator Inouye and Senator Corker to the growing coalition of those supporting the Healthy Americans Act."

Senator Inouye said: "This bill is an important first step to fixing our nation's healthcare system so that all Americans can get the coverage they need and deserve. This measure is an important first step in the right direction to providing comprehensive, universal coverage."

Senator Corker said: "Signing onto this bill is about getting around one table and working together towards a bipartisan solution to the health care crisis affecting millions in our country. This bill is not perfect, but it's a great starting point for both sides of the aisle to come together around health care reform that ensures all Americans have access to affordable, quality health insurance that is deeply rooted in the private market."

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 more than $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 Grassley is the ranking member and Senators Crapo, Stabenow and Wyden are members of the Committee.

To learn more about S.334 visit and