• President Obama's Health Reform Letter to Senator Baucus and Senator Kennedy
  • June 25, 2009
  • Law Firm: King & Spalding LLP - Atlanta Office
  • President Obama reiterated his call for comprehensive health reform in a June 2, 2009 letter to two key Senators involved in healthcare reform—Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Edward Kennedy.

    The President’s letter reiterated his belief that the status quo is broken and “unsustainable” and that the nation can no longer afford to postpone reform.

    The President indicated that health insurance exchanges should be created to help Americans select options. The President also endorsed the notion of having a public health insurance option that would provide a better range of options and make the insurance marketplace more competitive.

    The President further recognized that the Senators’ Committees are working toward having all Americans responsible for having health insurance and that employers should share in the cost of that insurance. The President cautioned that if individuals would be responsible for their own insurance, there would need to be a hardship waiver for some individuals and small businesses.

    Finally, the President stated that health reform should be deficit neutral over the next 10 years and lead to deficit reductions over time. To achieve this goal, the President’s budget proposal would set aside a $635 billion reserve fund to help pay for health reform. The President also indicated his support for a proposal to strengthen the recommendations of Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MEDPAC) by requiring a joint resolution of Congress not to adopt a MEDPAC proposal.