Washington, DC— Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, Senate HELP Committee Senior Member Chris Dodd, and Senate HELP Chairman Tom Harkin joined representatives from health care advocacy groups at a press conference this morning to stand united in passing the most significant health care legislation in decades.
These health organizations, representing millions of Americans from all different walks of life, included: American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging; American Association of People with Disabilities; AARP; American Cancer Society-Cancer Action Network; American Heart Association; Americans United for Change; Doctors for America, Community Catalyst; Consumers Union; Business Forward; Faith in Public Life; Families USA; Japanese American Citizens League; National Hispanic Council on Aging; National Jewish Democratic Council; National Puerto Rican Coalition; Organizing for America; Small Business Majority; Third Way; US PIRG; and, Unity ’09.
“Every one of the men and women standing with us represents thousands of Nevadans and millions of Americans who support this bill,” said Senate Majority Leader Reid. “These citizens know that we must make it possible for everyone to afford a healthy life and that inaction is not an option. While many tried to knock us off course, the support from these groups kept us optimistic and true to our principles. They are the reason we have come this far – further than any other effort in history. And they are the reason we will succeed.”
Senator Baucus said: “We are closer than ever to bringing security and stability to our health care system and finally providing the real reform Americans have been waiting for. Together we have crafted a bill that will finally provide the consumer protections American families deserve, the tax relief small businesses so desperately need and the access to quality health insurance coverage that too many Americans are living without. This is what the American people sent us here to do – to provide real solutions to the real problems facing American families, businesses, and workers every day – and we will not let them down. Make no mistake, we will deliver the meaningful health care reform Americans have been waiting on for decades.”
“For decades, Presidents and Congress alike have contemplated reform. Some have even tried to pass it. But none have succeeded,” said Senator Dodd. “Today, we can see why this time is different. This time, the need for reform is greater than the institutional obstacles that have for too long protected a broken status quo. This time, Americans have come together to demand change. This time, the Senate is going to deliver. This legislation will make America healthier, strengthen our economy, and provide a measure of security for every family, whether they today have insurance or not.”
Senator Harkin said: “For too long, some Americans have been on one side of that divide; they have had health coverage. And too many Americans have been on the other side of that divide – without insurance, unable to see a doctor and get proper care for their families. With the landmark legislation, at long last, we get rid of that shameful divide in American society. That is why so many groups representing all walks of life have joined in supporting this legislation.”