In August, BPC recognizes Representatives Michael Burgess (R-TX) and Donna Christensen (D-VI) for their efforts on the Preventive Health Savings Act (HR 2663). The bipartisan duo’s legislation would change the way the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) would forecast the future budgetary impact of health care legislation to reflect cost savings through the use of preventive health and preventive health care services.
Serving as chairman of the Congressional Health Care Caucus, Rep. Burgess introduced the Preventive Health Savings Act alongside Rep. Christensen to address the growing need for assessing health care costs and more accurately scoring health programs affected by chronic disease, or those that serve vulnerable populations. In drafting the legislation, Reps. Burgess and Christensen sought to change the way congressional budgeters forecast the future impact of health care bills, amending portions of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
The Preventive Health Savings Act would allow the CBO to collect scientific data past the conventional10-year window for bill analyses to allocate appropriate funding for preventive health care initiatives. By taking into account the longer-term savings potential associated with preventive health care, Reps. Burgess and Christensen hope to see more forward-thinking health measures advance in Congress in the future.
Introduced on July 11, the Preventive Health Savings Act has been referred to the House Committee on the Budget and currently has 11 co-sponsors: 4 Democrats, and 7 Republicans. The bill is yet another example of members of Congress placing an issue above partisan divide, and offering a bipartisan solution that works toward an America that is physically and fiscally healthy. It seems that Reps. Burgess and Christensen demonstrate that gridlock may be a curable diagnosis after all.
From the Americans with Disabilities Act to Campaign Finance Reform to No Child Left Behind and more, many significant legislative achievements have been successful due to cross-party collaboration. Rather than lamenting cooperation as a relic of days gone by, the Bipartisan Champions series will highlight current lawmakers who are working across the aisle and getting things done. By showcasing those who are putting partisan differences aside in order to put national interests first, BPC hopes to encourage more of this activity among our elected leaders in Washington, DC.