Washington, DC – Idaho Senator Mike Crapo issued the following statement today regarding a new legislative proposal on health care reform. Crapo is a member of the Senate Finance Committee that may vote next week on a legislative proposal announced today by Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Montana). Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) also helped work on the proposal, but the end product failed to win Republican backing.

“The Chairman and the Ranking Member on the Finance Committee have worked long and hard toward compromise legislation on health care reform, and I appreciate their efforts and hard work,” Crapo said. “Reforms are needed and will be debated. Unfortunately, the legislative proposal released today is not a bipartisan product. While I have not had the opportunity to fully review it, it does contain provisions for additional government involvement in the health care system, which I strongly oppose.

“This $856 billion proposal would build even more onto our multi-trillion dollar federal deficit. It appears that the plan would be paid for with more than $500 billion in cuts to existing health care programs accompanied by more than $300 billion in new taxes taken from consumers. The legislation sets up a co-op program, which is a thinly-disguised government plan, and it applies a series of taxes to insurance plans, costs that will be passed along to patients. Additionally, taxpayers will become almost solely responsible for an expansion of Medicaid with states facing additional costs for the program. Despite all of these proposed tax and spending increases, and expansions of government health programs, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has concluded that this proposal would still leave millions uninsured.

“We need to keep working to get this legislation right and not succumb to artificial deadlines. We have broad agreement on many reforms now and that is where the emphasis should stay. I encourage Idahoans to continue speaking out to Congress and the White House on this issue,” Crapo added.

He noted that tonight he will host an iTownhall meeting where the subject of health care reform is likely to come up. An audio file of the iTownHall meeting will be posted on the Senator’s website this evening, shortly after the conclusion of the call.

Crapo’s official website has a section on health care reform,, which includes copies of various health care reform proposals and links to other resources regarding the health care debate.