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Senator Warner and 10 of his freshman Senate colleagues today announced a package of amendments to the health care reform bill. The freshman amendments would expand and accelerate efforts to encourage innovation and accountability across the health care system – and drive down costs.

In floor speeches and at a Capitol Hill news conference today, the group of eleven freshmen announced the amendments – which have been endorsed by leading business, consumer and health care groups, including AARP and The Business Roundtable.

For more details on the amendment package, and to see a list of supporting organizations, click here.

Here are some highlights from the news conference:

The package of amendments strengthens the Senate’s current health reform proposal in three significant ways:

  • It establishes public-private arrangements to better synchronize changes across medicine, with an eye towards preventing cost-shifting to others.
  • It eliminates red tape and fights fraud, which drives-up costs.
  • And it compels Medicare to become a leader in overall health reform by speeding the move toward a higher-value, lower-cost model for the future.

UPDATE: Here is the amendment, as filed on December 10:

Freshman Value & Innovation in Health Care Amendment

Under the title, "Freshmen senators spending too much time on issues, not enough time chasing headlines," the Washington Post's Ezra Klein called the package "a set of common-sense improvements to the delivery system side of things"

Accelerating this transition is a good idea, and props to Warner for taking the reins on it. Health-care reform needs more legislators interested in bearing down on the dull guts of the policy, the stuff that doesn't get you quotes in the paper but will decide the success of the policy.

For more details on the amendment package, and to see a list of supporting organizations, click here.