Washington, D.C.—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor this afternoon. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“The health care votes we have held this week have been procedural in nature. Each has been a party-line vote. And much of this debate has focused on politics.
“But health reform is not about procedure, or partisanship, or politics.
“It is about people. People like the thousands who write us every day. A small, small fraction of those letters are right here on my desk.
“Each one of these letters represents a story, a tragedy, a life, a death – a person. People who wake up every morning and struggle to get health care or struggle to hold on to it. People who lie awake every night second-guessing the agonizing decisions they have to make about what to sacrifice just to stay healthy.
“Here’s a letter that was written to Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania:
‘Dear Senator Casey: In a country like the United States, we shouldn’t need a tip jar at an ice cream shop to raise money for a kid with leukemia.’
“Here’s what another one of these letters says – a plea that a father in North Las Vegas, Nevada sent to me:
‘Can you imagine what it’s like to have a doctor look you in the eye while you hold your one-year-old child and tell you that you will likely outlive your son? I am certain my story is not unique. But it is real.
‘Stop forcing Americans to use the most expensive point of service – the emergency room – to get what the system won’t give them.
‘Let’s make all Americans equal in the eyes of health care. Please.’
“This is not about the number of pages in this bill. It is about the number of people whom this bill will help.”