McConnell Creates Health Care Task Force

Posted January 12, 2009 at 12:28pm

With Democrats hoping to fast-track a comprehensive health care reform bill this year, Senate Republicans are forming their own task force to develop a Conference position on the politically difficult topic.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) announced on Monday that he has asked Health, Education, Labor and Pensions ranking member Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Finance ranking member Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Budget ranking member Judd Gregg (N.H.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) to lead the party’s efforts.

“Republicans believe health care reform requires input from our entire Conference and cooperation across the aisle because access to affordable quality health care is an issue that touches all Americans,” McConnell said.

McConnell said the lawmakers selected to lead the initiative not only have been involved in every major health care discussion in recent memory, but also offer a range of perspectives.

HELP Chairman Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) already has begun work on a proposal for reforming the health care system.

And during Health and Human Services secretary nominee Tom Daschle’s confirmation hearing, he told the committee that the incoming Obama administration is looking to take a bipartisan approach to reforming the system.