September 02,2008

Baucus To Continue Health Care Reform Series With September Hearings

Finance Chairman says panel’s study of reform topics will remain an important focus this fall

Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today announced the next three hearings in the panel’s year-long review of issues in heath care reform. Baucus said the September hearings will focus on health care quality, delivery system reform, and insurance market reform. Throughout 2008, Baucus has convened hearings, roundtables, and events to prepare for congressional action on health reform next year. Baucus said today that he intends for the panel’s comprehensive examination of health care reform to continue to be a top priority during the next session of Congress.

“At the Finance Committee, we’ve had our noses to the grindstone on health reform all year, and I intend to keep a strong focus on reform issues as Congress returns to Washington this fall,” Baucus said. “The crisis in America’s health care system is growing and Americans are ready for reform. The climate will be right for change next year. I intend for the Finance Committee to lead.”

Baucus said the next three hearings are already on the Finance calendar, to be developed in consultation with Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and with members on both sides of the panel. Hearings currently scheduled for September include:

  • September 9 – Improving health care quality – examining the importance of measuring and improving the quality of care provided to patients in all settings and learning more about quality improvement initiatives in the private sector.
  • September 16 – Delivery system reform – creating a patient-centered model of care, understanding the importance of primary care and developing new approaches to shore up its role in the health system.
  • September 23 – Insurance market reform – exploring ways to improve access to coverage through pooling arrangements, or through the creation of a health insurance exchange or “connector” – connecting individuals, small businesses and those eligible for premium subsidies to available health insurance plans.

Throughout the early months of 2008 Baucus held health reform hearings on topics including rising health care costs, the increasing number of uninsured and underinsured Americans,  innovation in health care technology, and tax treatment of health care benefits. In June of 2008, Baucus and Finance Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) hosted health policy experts and members of Congress for a day-long, bipartisan summit on health reform at the Library of Congress.

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