September 25,2009

Baucus Statement on Health Care Reform Mark-Up Progress


To: Reporters and Editors
From: Scott Mulhauser and Erin Shields for Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.)
Re: Baucus statement on Mark-Up Progress

Washington, D.C. - Chairman Baucus issued the following statement today after the Finance Committee Mark Up ended this week. On Tuesday, the committee began marking up the Modified Chairman’s Mark of the America’s Healthy Future Act, landmark health care reform legislation to lower costs and provide quality, affordable health care coverage. The committee recessed today at noon and will reconvene Tuesday, September 29, at 9:30 a.m. in room 216 of the Hart Senate Building.

From Chairman Baucus:

“When we began this process, I quoted President Harry Truman on progress and the opportunity to change things for the better. And over the last week we have made real progress.

We have debated, we have questioned, we have prodded at times, and we have discussed – and discussed. Most important, we continue to move forward.

We will continue our work to pass meaningful health care reform. And while this process is certainly laden with details, it is important to keep our eye on the big picture and remember why this reform effort is so critical.

Let’s be clear: the status quo is simply unacceptable.

It is time for real reform.

If we do nothing, the federal government will simply go broke over the next several decades.

If we do nothing, Medicare will be insolvent in less than ten years.

If we do nothing, families will continue to struggle as health care premiums will increase 84 percent in the next seven years.

Since we began marking up, another 42,000 Americans lost their health care coverage. Since we began marking up, more than 4,000 people filed for bankruptcy because of medical costs.

And, tragically, since we began marking up, more than 180 people lost their lives because they lacked health coverage.

These numbers are both astounding and sobering.

They serve to remind us that moving forward is our only option.
This was a good week. It was a productive week. And next week, our work will continue.

We will continue to make this a better bill.

We will continue to move forward.

And we will continue our work to pass legislation that will improve the lives of millions of Americans every day.

Together, I’m confident we will pass a bill that, without question, puts this great country and its more than 300 million citizens, on a path to a healthy future.”