Washington, D.C. – The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) announced a new Health Care Cost Containment Initiative today, led by former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle and Bill Frist, former Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete V. Domenici, and former White House Budget Director Alice M. Rivlin. The initiative will be a joint effort of BPC’s Health Project and Domenici-Rivlin Debt Reduction Task Force. Recognizing that health care reform is certain to remain a central policy issue, BPC believes that the nation must seize on new ideas and approaches that will reduce overall health care costs without sacrificing patient care.
“Finding a way to sustainably finance our health care market is an urgent and absolutely essential endeavor,” said Senator Daschle. “Through this new effort, we will seek strategies to promote rational, competitive, accessible, and affordable health care programs. I am confident that by working together with the best minds from the health and budget worlds we can accomplish a great deal on this critically important issue.”
Bringing together health and budget policy experts from both sides of the aisle, the initiative will review and evaluate the most promising strategies for health care cost containment and assess the financial impact of various proposals over the near- and long-term. The initiative will produce a strategic framing for the policy and political implications of each proposal and release a final set of recommendations for consideration by the administration and Congress early next year.
“The need to control the unsustainable growth in health care spending is urgent. Tax reform and entitlement reform are critical components to a larger deficit reduction package,” said Senator Domenici. “We are optimistic that identifying areas of agreement and exploring differences will provide critical insight to a second-term Obama administration or new Romney administration and help inform the broader fiscal policy debate in Congress throughout 2013.”
As in past BPC Health Project efforts, the initiative will focus on improving the value and quality of care, exploring affordable health insurance benefit designs, promoting policies that encourage wellness and personal accountability for healthy choices, and developing a sustainable approach to health care financing. The initiative will also draw on the work of and recommendations of BPC’s Domenici-Rivlin Debt Reduction Task Force.
“The Bipartisan Policy Center has a unique opportunity to draw our four distinguished health and economic policy leaders together in a detailed set of discussions supported by quality analysis,” said BPC President Jason Grumet. “Joining the forces of our respective health and economic teams will create the best substantive foundation for debate about how to tackle the growing costs of health care while preserving the highest quality of care for all Americans.”