Jan. 19, 2011
Washington, D.C. - The following is a statement by former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle and Bill Frist, co-leaders of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s new Health Project, on the vote to repeal health care reform:
“Today’s largely partisan vote to repeal health care reform in the House of Representatives demonstrates the continued discord surrounding the law. We, too, disagree about many of the law’s provisions. Still, we respect that it is the law of the land. Until and unless that changes, we believe it is incumbent upon all of us to develop ideas and approaches that will assist the states in successfully implementing an array of new programs and requirements. Amidst an upwelling of public support for greater civility and collaboration, we believe this is an opportune moment to come together despite our differences to address our ongoing health care crisis.
“We know that our health care costs are out of control, that too many Americans are without affordable health insurance and therefore without necessary preventive care. This broken system weighs on all of us. Every state is burdened by the weight of the health care system, and failure to realize transformational change will make it impossible for states to meet their current needs.
“We believe that the federal government can and must empower states to take the lead on health reform and collaborate with the private sector to pioneer delivery system change. To the degree states succeed, we as a nation will progress in developing a health system that provides affordable and quality care to all. Indeed, an economically sustainable health system that achieves better quality care at lower cost is in all of our interests.
“Recognizing the urgency of the health care crisis, it is critical that we move past the political divide and develop bipartisan, workable solutions to help states meet their current challenges. We encourage states to continue their efforts and we pledge to help them through our work at the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Health Project.”