WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins tonight released this statement following the President’s address to Congress.
“The problem of providing affordable access to quality health care for all Americans is one of the most significant domestic challenges facing our country. It affects every American and one-sixth of our economy.
“I continue to believe that addressing growing health care costs must be at the center of any health care reform legislation. The high cost is the major barrier to coverage for the uninsured and the reason why so many small businesses and middle-income families are struggling with the escalating cost of health insurance. Soaring costs also are a major burden for the federal and state budgets.
“Any reforms must also take into account our country’s exploding national debt. I remain deeply concerned about the high price tags associated with House bill and the Senate Health Committee legislation. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that these plans could cost as much as $1.6 trillion over the next decade. These costs may be borne by middle-income families and small businesses in the form of increased taxes at a time when they can least afford it.
“The Senate Finance Committee continues to work to come up with bipartisan legislation that addresses these concerns. I look forward to seeing what its negotiations produce.”