Castellani Urges Bipartisan Health Bill

Posted August 6, 2009 at 2:12pm

Business Roundtable President John Castellani said Thursday that his lobbying group will urge Members of Congress and the White House over the August recess to come up with bipartisan health reform.While the group has no plans to run issue advertising, Castellani said his members, who are the CEOs of the largest U.S. companies, will get their message through in private meetings with Congressional and White House officials.“What we’re doing is meeting with as many Members of Congress and with the administration daily,— Castellani said during a conference call with reporters.The Senate Finance Committee, which is working on a bipartisan compromise bill, is taking the right approach, Castellani said. The Business Roundtable has concerns with bills passed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the House Energy and Commerce panel. In particular, the group does not support an employer mandate or a public insurance option.Castellani said his group is lobbying to keep Senate Republicans, in particular, at the negotiating table. “We do firmly believe that all parties must remain at the table to get reform right the first time around,— he said. “Our efforts right now are to encourage everybody to stay there and to continue the discussions, the debate, the compromise, the analysis that’s necessary.—