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Democrats and Republicans Convene in Orlando to Tackle Tough Health Care Issues

Saturday, September 20, 2008 General News J E 4
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Bi-Partisan Conference Challenges Health Leaders to Find Solutions



ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The White House Writers Group and West Wing Writers have come together from opposite sides of the political spectrum to host a bipartisan forum, America's Health Care At Risk: Finding Cure, on Sept. 17 and 18 at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Hotel in Florida.



Across the nation there is significant agreement that the health care system needs to be fixed and the next president -- no matter who takes office -- will have to approach Members of Congress and find champions on both sides of the aisle to enact change. With the upcoming elections, this conference--the first of its kind--provided a venue for America's leaders to discuss key issues impacting reform.



"2009 is shaping up to be a transformational year for health care in the United States," said former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson. "Medicare is broken and is set to run out in 2012 and the State Children's Health Insurance Program terminates on March 31. The state of American health care is an emergency, and these issues require immediate action."



Conference panels throughout both days included an equal voice from Republicans and Democrats in order to drive discussions of bi-partisan solutions for the nation's health care crisis. In addition, surrogates for both presidential campaigns were on hand to share insights and to take learnings back to their respective candidates.



"There are many opportunities for common ground," said former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. "America's leaders may never be unanimous, but we can't allow the perfect to get in the way of fixing the health system. It should be our goal to have bipartisan solutions."



Nearly every panelist also raised the issue of the economy and the challenges that the government faces in implementing policy reform. "If we do nothing to fix the health system in America, it will catch up with us and we will have a crisis similar to what Wall Street is dealing with today," said Daschle.



The White House Writers Group - a communications firm formed by former Reagan and Bush speechwriters - and the West Wing Writers - a communications firm formed by former Clinton presidential writers - hosted the conference. Opening remarks on Wednesday featured a discussion on presidential politics and health care lead by political consultant James Carville and Karl Rove, former Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to President Bush. Thursday's panel speakers discussed solutions to improve the quality of care without increasing costs, how to help the 44 million uninsured Americans across the nation and the government's role in America's health care.



"A lot of people who usually talk at each other talked to each other about so many important issues - about making sure all Americans have access to the health care they need and about the necessity of lowering costs while maintaining quality," said Clark S. Judge, Managing Director of the White House Writers Group.



"From the governor to the business leaders and doctors, we have lots of ideas to take back to Washington to jump start health care reform," said Paul Orzulak, Founding Partner of the West Wing Writers. "Mostly, we agreed that this is too important to be a partisan issue."



For more news updates from the conference: http://www.healthcareatrisk.org.



About White House Writers Group

Founded by some of Ronald Reagan's leading speechwriters, the White House Writers Group is a strategic communications consulting firm. With professionals having experience at the highest levels of government, politics, business and finance, the group specializes in shaping strategies and crafting
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