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Business Roundtable Urges 8 GOP Senators to Produce Health Care Package

The Business Roundtable, which on Thursday said it is working for bipartisan health reform legislation, last week sent a letter to eight GOP Senators urging them to remain part of the process “to ensure the final product is one that is good for all Americans.—

John Castellani, who heads the roundtable, wrote to the Republicans that the CEOs his group represents “believe the Senate Finance Committee product will have many positive aspects. We are encouraged that bipartisan discussions continue and may meet our key goals for reform.—

None of the eight Senators who received Castellani’s letter sits on the Finance panel, but Business Roundtable’s director of public policy, Maria Ghazal, said in an e-mail statement, “We wanted to start looking at a list of Republican Senators, beyond the committee, who would be most interested in hearing about the views of CEOs. In the coming weeks, we’ll look to expand this list.—

The Republican Senators who received the letter are Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker of Tennessee, Bob Bennett (Utah), Kit Bond (Mo.), Susan Collins (Maine), Judd Gregg (N.H.), Dick Lugar (Ind.) and Mel Martinez (Fla.).

Castellani’s letter said that doing nothing on health care reform is not a good option. “However, we do not want a government run plan that will undercut the private marketplace’s ability to innovate and offer coverage that is better for our workforce,— he stated in the letter.

“As details of the Finance Committee package emerge, I will continue to keep you informed of our views,— he continued. “We believe there is a pathway forward to expand access, reduce the rate of growth of health care costs, preserve the employment-based system and enact insurance market reforms that create affordable options for consumers.—

Castellani on Thursday held a conference call with reporters to reiterate his group’s support for bipartisan health care reform.

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