Published: February 25, 2009
Today, the Senate Finance Committee will convene a hearing to examine health care reform from a budgetary perspective. On behalf of the 53 million Americans we represent, the members of Divided We Fail – AARP, Business Roundtable, NFIB and SEIU – commend Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and the committee for moving forward expeditiously and keeping health care reform at the forefront of the congressional agenda.
We agree with President Obama that given the current economic challenges, it has never been more important for us to invest in building a better, stronger, more efficient health care system. We must focus on making health care more affordable and accessible for individuals, businesses and society to sustain improvements in health and our financial security for future generations. Doing so will not only help save lives and money, and improve the safety and delivery of care; it will also help fuel our economic recovery. We applaud Chairman Baucus and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) for working to identify responsible financing options for health reform, which will yield system-wide improvements and savings well beyond the federal spending scored by CBO that also need to be considered.
It’s time to bring U.S. health care into the 21st century; Divided We Fail is committed to continuing to work with the American people, businesses, non-profit organizations and elected officials to find bipartisan solutions that ensure affordable, quality health care for all.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our bimonthly magazine in Spanish and English; NRTA Live & Learn, our quarterly newsletter for 50+ educators; and our website, http://www.aarp.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies with more than $5 trillion in annual revenues and nearly 10 million employees. Member companies comprise nearly a third of the total value of the U.S. stock markets and pay nearly half of all corporate income taxes paid to the federal government. Annually, they return $133 billion in dividends to shareholders and the economy. Business Roundtable companies give more than $7 billion a year in combined charitable contributions, representing nearly 60 percent of total corporate giving. They are technology innovation leaders, with more than $70 billion in annual research and development spending – more than a third of the total private R&D spending in the U.S.
NFIB is the nation’s leading small-business advocacy association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small- and independent-business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists send their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information about NFIB is available online at www.NFIB.com.
With 1.9 million members, SEIU (www.seiu.org) is the fastest-growing union in North America. Focused on uniting workers in three sectors to improve their lives and the services they provide, SEIU is the largest health care union, including hospitals, nursing homes, and home care; the largest property services union, including building cleaning and security; and the second largest public employee union.