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A group of business leaders – including Safeway CEO Steve Burd – appeared at a press conference yesterday in Washington, DC, to support a new bill that would create a national health care program.

The bill, the "Healthy Americans Act," has been introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), who said that “employer-based coverage is melting away like a Popsicle on the sidewalk in August.” Wyden said his program, a pool of private insurance plans, would “guarantee health coverage for every American that is at least as good as members of Congress receive and can never be taken away.”

Burd said, “Sen. Wyden, with his commitment and passion for health care reform, has introduced an innovative proposal that lays a foundation to begin a serious discussion on health care reform in this country. Our nation is facing a crisis that requires immediate attention. Working together, business, labor, government, consumer groups and health care providers can collectively solve this problem.”

Burd said yesterday that if no action is taken on creating some sort of national program, health care expenses for companies will equal net profits by 2008.
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