May 11,2009

Press Contact:

Erin Shields, (202) 224-4515

Baucus Comment on Industry Proposal to Lower Health Care Costs

Finance Chairman calls lowering costs one of the most important goals of health reform

Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) commented today following the release of a proposal by a coalition of health care industry groups that could save $2 trillion in health care costs over the next 1- years. Baucus has been leading efforts in the Finance Committee to craft health care reform legislation that would lower costs and improve patient care in the health care system. He has said the Finance Committee will mark up health reform legislation in June of this year.

“Lowering health care costs is one of the most important goals of health care reform,”Baucus said. “I'm very pleased that the ideas proposed by these industry groups meet my goals of increasing focus on value, efficiency, and prevention in the health care system. Health care reform is my top priority and I look forward to working with these stakeholders as we consider a health care reform bill in the Finance Committee in June. I’m confident that together with doctors, hospitals, patient groups, and industry experts, we will determine the best ways to get health care costs down, improve patient care, and build the health care system that Americans deserve this year.”

Baucus held ten hearings and a daylong summit on health care reform in 2008 before releasing his “Call to Action” blueprint for health care reform. This year, he and Finance Committee Ranking Member Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) are holding roundtable discussions on health care reform and releasing policy options that will inform the creation of comprehensive health reform legislation. Baucus has said the Congress should deliver a health care reform bill to President Barack Obama this year.