Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sen. Jeff Merkley On Vote to Proceed to Debate on Health Care Reform

The debate in the US Senate yesterday to proceed to the debate on the health care reform bill was a very important step in the process of making sure that all Americans have access to affordable health care. At the same time, it's very important to note that yesterday's vote was simply to move forward with the debate and several Senators made it clear that they were voting for debate but did not support the bill as it currently stands. Those of us who support the concept of making sure everyone has access to affordable health care therefore have a significant amount of work left.

As Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) said in a statement yesterday, however, this is issue that is so important that it absolutely must be properly addressed now and can no longer be put off for future generations to solve.
“This debate is far from over, but we have now come further than any congress in a generation in completing the difficult task of fixing health care. I look forward to continuing to fight for reforms that will make health care more accessible and affordable for all Americans. And I hope that my colleagues who opposed even having a full discussion about this issue will realize how important it is that the Senate debate health care reform.

“The health care system is no longer working for working Americans. Too many are without insurance; too many others fear they will lose coverage when they need it most. Health care costs are bankrupting families and hampering business growth. We must act now to contain costs, expand access to coverage and reform the insurance industry practices that have made even those with insurance fearful as to what will happen should they become ill or injured.”

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