March 27,2003

Baucus Introduces Legislation to Strengthen Health Care Safety Net

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) U.S. Senator Max Baucus today joined Sens. Orrin Hatch(R-UT), John Rockefeller (D-W.V.), and James Jeffords (I-VT) in introducing a bill thatwould ensure that people have access to high quality health care by establishing anindependent, nonpartisan commission to oversee America’s health care safety net.

The Health Care Safety New Oversight Act of 2003 would establish SNOPAC –the Safety Net Organizations and Patient Advisory Commission. The Commission, to bemodeled after the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), would becomposed of professionals from across the policy and practical health care spectrum.

“Safety net providers are often the last resort for patients unable to afford thehealth care they need,” Baucus said. “These providers – from public and teachinghospitals to emergency departments to community and rural health centers – are allworking independently to provide assistance to those who can’t otherwise afford healthcare. This bill would work to coordinate their efforts so they can even more effectivelyprovide assistance to those who need it.”