Washington state's Gregoire wants governors to weigh in on health care

McClatchy NewspapersFebruary 23, 2010 

WASHINGTON – Gov. Chris Gregoire is headed home after a National Governors' Association winter meeting that focused on jobs, the economy and health care. It also included a stop, with the other governors, at the White House for a meeting with President Obama.

Gregoire told reporters before departing Washington, D.C., there was an amazing amount of bipartisan agreement on health care among the governors and she and her colleagues may want to weigh in collectively with Congress and the administration on the issue.

"Some things are not so controversial when you sit down with the governors," Gregoire said. "There is an absolute consensus the governors should sit down with pen and paper and see what they can agree on. To hear the governors, there is a lot of common ground."

At a minimum, Gregoire said the governors should be able to come up with a list of health care reform principles they can agree on.

Gregoire said the governors were pretty much shut out when Congress was putting together the "No Child Left Behind" education bill and only go involved when it was up for reauthorization.

"We were on the cleanup committee," Gregoire said of the landmark education bill. "We can't afford to take a pass on health care."

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