Rep. Matsui gets thanks and a quilt

Congressmember Doris Matsui was losing her voice while addressing nearly 100 supporters who gathered to express appreciation for her leadership on federal health reform on Thursday.

But that didn’t stop the Sacramento congresswoman from getting her message across to the crowd of folks who spent their lunch hour assembling at Trinity Cathedral to say “thanks!!” to one of federal health reforms key supporters.

The room stood to applaud Matsui several times during her remarks. Some wiped their eyes as the Democratic Congresswoman spoke poignantly about the importance of health reform in our nation’s history.

Calling it second-only to the passage of Social Security and Medicare, Matsui declared, “This is a victory for health care, civil rights, human rights and, ultimately, our democracy.”

In her role as a member of the House Energy and Commerce committee, where early versions of the legislation were shaped, Matsui’s commitment was key to ultimately turning a bill into the law of the land.

It was an informative program, with several community leaders and members–including Elizabeth Abbott of Health Access–speaking about various parts of the reform. But it was also touching.

To her supporters, who unveiled and presented Matsui with a handmade health care quilt featuring a patchwork of personal stories and messages of affirmation, the congresswoman, who won the 5th Congressional district after her late husband, Bob, held it for 26 years, offered her own thanks. She also made a point of thanking those whose fight for health care reform preceded hers, saying she was certain they were present in the chapel to help celebrate the historic reform.

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

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