Thomas Long 0

House Democrats: Approve the Senate Health Care Bill

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The undersigned call on the Democratic members of the House of Representatives to expeditiously pass the Senate health care bill and place it on the desk of the President for his signature.  

Here are our reasons:

Tens of millions of Americans are forced to live without health insurance because they cannot afford it.  

For millions of other Americans, the health insurance they have is of little value because of exclusion of coverage for pre-existing conditions, cost caps, and insurance company practices of raising premiums or dropping coverage when people get sick.

The unavailability of meaningful health insurance for individuals prevents millions of Americans from leaving dead-end jobs and seeking the work of their choosing for fear of losing health insurance for themselves or family members.  

Health insurance premium increases are skyrocketing, depressing wages and decreasing the money we have to support ourselves and our families. The Senate health care bill would provide comprehensive reform to our health insurance system by: enabling all Americans to have access to affordable health insurance; preventing health insurers from refusing to cover pre-existing conditions, imposing unreasonable cost caps, and dropping coverage when we become sick; and beginning the necessary work of reducing runaway insurance premiums and health care costs; all without increasing the federal deficit.  

The United States is the only western industrialized nation that does not guarantee that all of its citizens have affordable access to health care.  

For over sixty years, Americans have struggled to enact legislation providing for universal health care in the United States.  

The President and Democratic legislators have attempted for a whole year to work with Republicans to develop bipartisan legislation to provide universal health care. The Republicans have made the cynical strategic decision to unite in opposing any legislation that would provide universal access to health care, believing that it is more important to deny the President and Democrats a legislative victory than to improve the lives of their constituents. Further efforts to negotiate health care legislation with Republicans will be fruitless.

In light of the current interpretation of Senate filibuster rules and the opposition of all Republicans, it will not be possible to pass in the Senate any legislation emerging from a House-Senate Conference Committee.

By passing the Senate bill, despite its flaws, the House of Representatives has the opportunity to remedy a serious injustice and to make a major improvement in the lives of all Americans.

The time has come for Democrats to put aside their differences and to unite to seize this historic opportunity, an opportunity that may not come again for many years.


Thomas Long, Albany, California, a concerned citizen who hopes that Democrats will unite to seize this historic opportunity.


Health policy experts urge House to approve Senate bill.
Nobel economist Paul Krugman's 1/21/10 column urging House to approve Senate bill.

NY Times editorial:  Democrats should "summon the nerve" and "finish the job"; passing the Senate bill is the most promising path forward.

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