Baucus, Kennedy Back Obama’s Health-Care Plan in WSJ Op-Ed

By Beacon Staff

Montana Sen. Max Baucus, in his continued push for health-care reform, penned an op-ed with Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy for Thursday’s Wall Street Journal. The Democratic senators stressed that Congress must “move quickly with President Obama to fix our broken system.” While Baucus has long sought to overhaul the country’s health-care system, and was the lead author of the recently expanded Children’s Health Insurance Program, the senior senator appears to be assuming an even higher profile under the Obama administration. And with Kennedy, a longtime advocate of health-care reform who is battling brain cancer and absent from Washington, D.C., Baucus’ profile on the issue may grow still. An excerpt from the op-ed:

Rising health costs also undermine our strength in the global marketplace. American employers pay far more for health care than their major trading partners, and manufacturers face particularly high pressure to compete internationally. U.S. manufacturers pay $2.38 an hour for health benefits, while manufacturers among our major trading partners pay only 96 cents an hour on average, according to the New America Foundation. Health-care reform is essential to spur growth and keep American businesses on a level playing field with the world.

A reformed health-care system will allow businesses to better afford to offer coverage, and empower every American to choose and purchase insurance plans that fit their budgets. Once universal coverage is reached, the positive effects will be exponential. When every American is covered, the massive costs incurred by doctors and hospitals for treating the uninsured will no longer show up in the premiums of those with health policies. Coverage can become increasingly affordable for all.

Read the entire op-ed here.

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