A historic day…

We are following the House health reform debate on Twitter. Follow us at www.twitter.com/healthaccess

As I write this, Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke on the House floor. “This is an historic moment,” and said, in a strong voice, “Today we will pass” health reform. “Today, we answer the call” of history. She talked of three pillars: Innovation, Competition, and Prevention. She talked about the benefits of reform for consumers, including that “there’s a cap on what you pay in, but there’s no cap on what you receive.” She gave a long series of bullet points of what “no longer” will happen under the bill, with the biggest applause when she said, “No longer will being a woman be a pre-exisiting condition.” At the end, Speaker Pelosi invokes Rep. John Dingell’s long fight the health reform, as well as the quote from the late Senator Kennedy: “What is at stake is the character of our country.”

There’s been other poignant speeches by Californians, including Education and Labor Chairman George Miller’s statement focusing on preventing financial insecurity for families. “We cannot ask American families to continue to live on the edge of insecurity..today, we deliver security… A small event, because of lack of healthcare, can explode into the life of a family, the life of a community. That’s not going to happen again” under this bill.

Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Lynn Woolsey explained how she worried about her three children’s health when they were uninsured, and no mother will have to now.

The debate is expected to go into this evening.

There will be tough amendments on abortion and immigration before the day is done.
* An amendment by Bart Stupak would limit abortion coverage for even *private* health coverage offered through the health insurance exchange.
* A Republican amendment would limit undocument immigrants from *using their own money* to buy coverage in the health insurance exchange.

So if you can, keep calling your Congressmembers TODAY (Saturday) 1-877-264-4226.

Health Access California is opposed to the amendments, but strongly for the main bill, H.R. 3962.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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