Washington, DC – Idaho Senator Mike Crapo released the following statement after President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress regarding health care reform:
“Health care remains one of the highest priorities for the American people. Throughout the last month, as I traveled in Idaho, many Idahoans overwhelmingly expressed their concerns over the further encroachment of the federal government into their everyday lives, particularly related to health care reform. They shared their distrust of a government plan, losing their existing coverage and not being able to keep their doctor. Ultimately, they said they want Congress to take the time to get this right instead of passing the wrong bill too quickly for political reasons
“Health care spending totals one out of every six dollars spent (or 16% of GDP). Our national deficit is rapidly increasing and health care is too big, too personal, too important to rush or get it wrong. Add to that that many Americans are increasingly alarmed about the ever-growing deficit. That is why we must address the rapid growth of health care spending. I have concerns that President Obama’s three-part plan does not sufficiently address this problem. In addition, the Congressional Budget Office has shown that proposals in both the House and the Senate actually increase the deficit over the next ten years.
“There are many areas in the health reform debate where Republicans and Democrats can agree and find common ground. I support fair insurance market reforms so that all Americans can have access to health care. All Americans who are happy with their existing coverage should be able to keep their plan and their doctor. Preserving access to high-quality private health coverage, an increased focus on prevention and wellness initiatives, delivery system reforms and bending the growth curve of spending should be priorities in any comprehensive health care reform legislation. I remain concerned that the President supports the presence of a government health care option in the marketplace. With that in mind along with other concerns of the Idahoans I represent, I will be carefully considering the proposals put forward tonight by President Obama.”