May 11,2004

Grassley Will Work to Advance Ways to Help the Uninsured


To: Reporters and Editors
Fr: Jill Gerber for Chairman Grassley, 202/224-6522
Re: Recommendations of the Senate Republican Uninsured Task Force
Da: Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, today made the followingcomment on the recommendations of the Senate Republican Uninsured Task Force. Grassley is amember of the task force.

“The 44 million uninsured Americans represent a cross-section of America. They include employees of small businesses, young adults, early retirees, immigrants, and children. Some are uninsured for a short time, and others for longer periods. Rising health care costs make it more difficult to find a simple answer to make health care affordable. It’s clear there isn’t a one--fits-all solution to this growing problem. Any proposal needs to recognize the many faces of the uninsured.

“The task force approach does this. Our comprehensive package uses both government and marketplace options to get relief where people need it. This responsible approach achieves three broad goals. First, it expands health insurance coverage, targeting assistance to those most in need. Second, it makes health care more affordable for everyone, including the uninsured. Third, it strengthens the care safety net by recognizing the dedication and commitment of community health centers, free clinics and other organizations that provide free or low cost health services to the uninsured.

“We in Congress need to continue to work together to find solutions that lower health carecosts and improve access. I hope today’s recommendations will lead to continued thoughtful debate about access to affordable health care and health insurance. As a first step, I plan to talk to Chairman Gregg about scheduling a joint hearing of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and Finance committees to look at the task force’s recommendations. Working together from the outset will be critical to making progress on this important issue.”