Washington, DC— Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following remarks at a press conference this evening after the Senate voted to move to debate the Democratic health insurance reform proposal that was introduced earlier this week. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“I want to commend the Senators who showed tonight that they are not afraid of debate, and the courageous Senators like those standing with me now who led the way.
“What happened just now has never happened in the long history of the United States Senate. For the first time ever, the Senate will debate a bill that puts health care decisions in the hands of the people.
“But remember: We can only see the finish line; we have not yet crossed it. The road ahead will be the toughest stretch. But we have momentum and I will keep this process moving forward.
“We know that not all 100 Senators agree on where we go from here. We know not all 60 Senators in my caucus agree on every aspect of this bill. But all Democrats do believe now is the time to make sure all Americans can access affordable health insurance.
“When this debate begins on the floor, the differences will be clear to the American people.
“They will see our plan, which saves lives, save money and saves Medicare.
“And they will see the Republican alternative – which is nothing – and which keeps our broken system just the way it is – and lets it get even worse.
“We’re happy with this bill. We welcome a debate to build upon it. And we look forward to finally bringing quality health care choices to the American people.”