As we prepare for the 110th Congress, healthcare reforms undoubtedly will continue to dominate the agenda of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Following two years of milestone achievements in healthcare policy, I am confident that the committee and the Senate as a whole will continue their aggressive work to respond to the healthcare priorities facing most Americans.
Healthcare costs and healthcare quality continue to be at the forefront of worries facing U.S. families. An October survey conducted by ABC News, the Kaiser Family Foundation and USA Today found that most Americans are dissatisfied with the healthcare system. An overwhelming 80% think the costs are too high, while 54% are dissatisfied with the quality of care.
During the Congress just completed, the HELP Committee set a benchmark for working in a bipartisan, bicameral fashion, and I do not expect that standard to slip as Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) takes the gavel next year. Sen. Kennedy and I sometimes disagree on certain issues, but we have worked hard to find common ground on healthcare issues and share a commitment to improving the health, education, work and retirement security of all Americans.
Among the issues I expect the HELP Committee to act on over the two years include: