Strengthening of America Forum: The Imperative of Entitlement Reform and Health Care Cost Control

  • Sep 27, 2012

    WASHINGTON, September 27, 2012 – Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader William H. Frist (R-TN) and former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, will headline the fourth forum of Strengthening of America—Our Children’s Future, designed to raise public consciousness of the country’s growing and unsustainable debt.  

    The forum will take place on Monday, October 1st from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) at 1800 K Street, Washington, D.C.  Senator Frist and Secretary Shalala will speak to the challenge of health care and entitlement cost control, and will be followed by a second panel featuring John B. Taylor, former U.S. Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, and Alice Rivlin, former director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, offering their perspectives on these challenges.

    Strengthening of America—Our Children’s Future is led by former U.S. Senators Sam Nunn (D-GA), Pete Domenici (R-NM), Warren Rudman (R-NH), and Evan Bayh (D-IN).  Together they have convened a bipartisan group of former senators and representatives to come together for four forums to take place before the first presidential debate. Each of the forums resembles a congressional hearing with high-level former U.S. government officials providing remarks before a panel of former elected representatives.  Past sessions have focused on the foreign policy, national security, and economic implications of the debt, bipartisan plans to address the issue as well as the challenge of pro-growth tax reform, and have included as participants notable policy and business leaders such as James A. Baker, III, Robert E. Rubin, Robert Gates, Michael Mullen, Erskine Bowles, Alan Simpson, Alice Rivlin, Lawrence Summers, and Martin Feldstein.

    The effort is a joint project of The Concord Coalition, The Bipartisan Policy Center, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the American Business Conference, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.  Strengthening of America—Our Children’s Future, is also working closely and coordinating with the Campaign to Fix the Debt, the Comeback America Initiative, and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s ongoing efforts to call attention to the fiscal challenges threatening America’s future.

    The Steering Committee for Strengthening of America includes the following former members of Congress: Howard Baker (R-TN), Bob Bennett (R-UT), David Boren (D-OK), Bill Brock (R-TN), Richard Bryan (D-NV), Mike Castle (R-DE), Jack Danforth (R-MO), Tom Davis (R-VA), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Mickey Edwards (R-OK), Daniel Evans (R-WA), Bill Frenzel (R-MN), Dan Glickman (D-KS), Slade Gorton (R-WA), Bob Graham (D-FL), William Gray (D-PA), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Jane Harman (D-CA), J. Bennett Johnston (D-LA), Nancy Kassebaum (R-KS), David McCurdy (D-OK), Jim Nussle (R-IA), Tim Penny (D-MN), Chuck Robb (D-VA), Tim Roemer (D-IN), Alan Simpson (R-WY), Charlie Stenholm (D-TX), John Tanner (D-TN), Tom Tauke (R-IA), and Tim Wirth (D-CO).

    “Too many people assume it is impossible for Republicans and Democrats to work together,” said Senators Nunn, Domenici, Rudman, and Bayh in their joint statement. “Our experience tells us that it is not only possible—it is absolutely essential. While we are not naïve about the unlikely prospect of any agreement until after the election, there are plans currently on the table—like Simpson/Bowles and Domenici/Rivlin—that are bipartisan, that put everything on the table, and that provide a useful starting point for debate and agreement. We need to focus attention on this vital issue today to preserve our children’s future tomorrow.”

    For press inquiries
    on Strengthening of America, please contact Andrew Schwartz, CSIS senior vice president for external relations, at or call (202) 775-3242.

    The effort is a joint project of the following organizations:

    The Concord Coalition
    The Bipartisan Policy Center
    Center for Strategic and International Studies
    American Business Conference
    James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University
    Hoover Institution at Stanford University
    Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University
    Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

    You can follow the initiative on Twitter @USAStronger.