KANSAS CITY, MO - U.S. Senator Kit Bond today joined Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator John McCain in hosting a discussion on health care at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. Senators McConnell and McCain are traveling around the country this month to discuss the ongoing health care debate and get input from Americans.
“As I have traveled throughout the State, I have heard from the public across Missouri who clearly do not want government to over-reach, over-manage, and over-spend. My office phones have been ringing off the hook with opposition registering 8-1 so I know what the people of Missouri think about a government-run health care plan," Bond noted. "The purpose of this event is to get together a diverse group of experts involved in health care like doctors, nurses, employers, small business leaders, church leaders, labor and others to hear additional ideas on how to reform our health care system."
After touring Children’s Mercy - one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation - the three Senators were joined by a diverse group of stakeholders in the Kansas City community to talk about the current health care debate. The Senators heard from patients, nurses, doctors, hospital administrators, small business owners, church leaders and union representatives about their ideas on how to best reform our health care system. The Senators took questions from the audience and discussed ways to make health care more affordable, accessible and available for American families.
"Despite strong opposition to proposals before Congress, the public remains faced with rising premiums and higher health care costs, as well as hospitals, doctors and other health care providers struggling with the rising costs of treating the uninsured, and I agree that we need reform,” said Bond. “We all want to fix those problems, and to make health care more affordable and more accessible, but we also need to be careful about a massive government-run proposal. Americans - and Missourians - want health care reform, but they want measured common-sense reform that doesn't do more harm than good.”
Senator Bond has stressed the need for health care reform and his support for common sense steps that can be taken now that will lower costs, increase access and improve patient care, including:
• Helping small businesses find affordable health insurance options for their employees who make up the largest percent of the uninsured through small business health plans.
• Lowering the costs for people who buy health insurance on their own so they receive the same tax benefits as those who get insurance through their employers.
• Reforming medical malpractice laws to eliminate junk lawsuits so doctors can stop practicing defensive medicine which can increase health care cost as much as $120 billion a year.
• Encouraging wellness, prevention and disease management programs that improve lives and reduce costs.
• Expanding the health care safety net through Community Health Centers
• Enrolling low-income Americans in the health care programs they are already eligible for. Currently 11 million Americans are eligible but not enrolled in Medicaid and SCHIP.
• Reforming the Medicare and Medicaid programs to prevent these safety-net programs from going bankrupt.
• Cracking down on waste and fraud that drive up the costs of health care
Bond, "We can accomplish health care reform without a government takeover of health care that would drive health care costs even higher for families, force millions of Americas off their current health care plan, ration care, restrict access to the latest cures and treatments, and put health care decisions in the hands of government bureaucrats rather than doctors and patients. "