Here’s a statement by Richard Kirsch, National Campaign Manager, Health Care for America Now:
“Health Care for America Now is committed to winning a guarantee of good, affordable health care we all can count on, and we will continue to push aggressively to get the best health care reform bill possible to the President’s desk for his signature as quickly as possible.
Tuesday’s vote was not a referendum on health care reform. It was a referendum on a particular candidate in a climate in which people, hard pressed by the economy, are impatient for change. When it comes to the need to make good health care affordable, nothing is different today than it was yesterday. Congress must keep going and finish reform right.
Fixing health care now is vital to fixing our economy. In survey after survey, voters continue to voice strong support for forcing health insurers to stop excluding people with pre-existing conditions, guaranteeing everyone has access to good, affordable coverage, and requiring health plans to spend premiums on medical care, not profits.
The people of Massachusetts already have benefit from health care reform. It’s time the rest of the country had the same access to good, affordable care.
We are on track to pass a strong bill, and we will stay focused on that until the President signs the bill into law.”
I would add that we at Health Access are pleased by Speaker Pelosi’s continued leadership on this issue. And maybe that comes from the fundamentals: After all, the need and urgency for health reform from last year and last week didn’t change this week and this year, because of a single result of a special election in a specific state. The election in question was in the state where health reform least mattered–as opposed to California, where it matters possibly most of all, given our large percentages of uninsured, lower-wage workers, people at risk of being denied for pre-existing conditions, etc. Even in Massachusetts, the candidate in opposition to national health reform did not dare oppose the identical state reforms already in place.
And that’s the lesson. Pass a bill–a good bill–and health reform won’t be the political issue it is now.