Crossing Our Lines

Working Together to Reform the U.S. Health System

Former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle and Bob Dole recently completed the The Leaders’ Project on the State of American Health Care, a two-year consensus-building process resulting in a new plan for reforming America’s health care system.

Their plan, outlined in a report entitled, Crossing Our Lines: Working Together to Reform the U.S. Health System, is a comprehensive set of policy recommendations that aims to provide quality, affordable health coverage for all Americans and includes recommendations to improve quality and control costs.

The Leaders’ Project centered around four key “pillars” of reform:

  • promote high-quality, high-value care;
  • make health insurance available, meaningful and affordable;
  • emphasize and support personal responsibility and healthy choices; and
  • develop a workable, sustainable approach to health care financing.

The report covers key, and often controversial, issues including:

  • the need for strong insurance reforms that require guaranteed issue;
  • elimination of medical underwriting for pre-existing conditions and rating limitations;
  • new state and regional coverage options through exchanges;
  • reforms that constrain cost growth; and
  • financial assistance through Medicaid and tax credits.