Skip to content

Camp Opening Statement: Hearing on Health Reform in the 21st Century

May 06, 2009


Thank you for yielding, Mr. Chairman.

I want to take a moment of personal privilege in welcoming Secretary Sebelius to the Ways and Means Committee; I expect it will be a place we meet often.  And, as much as I respect this room and what happens within its walls, I think we would both readily admit that the Leelanau Peninsula, an area I represent and I understand your family has come to know well, is a much nicer meeting place.

Secretary Sebelius, I know your time is short, so I will get straight to the point:
I’ve read your testimony and agree with much of it.  And so I ask whether we will we focus on developing a plan that features policies we can agree on – lowering costs for families, businesses and the American taxpayer; ensuring no family is bankrupted by their medical costs; a choice of doctors; being able to keep your current coverage; among many others?  Or will we focus on what divides us?

If it is the former, then I think we can find a path to bipartisan health reform.  If the latter, we may not be as successful.  So, here is hoping for success.

Madame Secretary, as we continue this conversation on health care reform, I ask that you make yourself available to this committee, its Republicans and Democrat Members, and that you and the President truly be open to our ideas and working across party lines to make health care reform a reality.

Again, since your time with us is short, and I want to make sure Members have as much time as possible to ask you questions, I yield back the balance of my time. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.