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Sen. Reid stands up to partisan pressure and commits to public option

WASHINGTON - October 26, 2009 -

This afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced that the Senate’s health care reform bill will include a public option with an opt-out provision for states.     

The following may be attributed to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel:

“Sen. Reid has pushed partisan politics aside and listened to the growing majority of Americans demanding a public option.  He has committed to putting a public option in the Senate health care reform bill, and we applaud him for standing up for the more than 46 million people in this country—including 8 million children—who have no health insurance.

“There are many more important changes to be made so that the bill that is sent to President Obama’s desk will be a victory for uninsured and underinsured Americans … not insurance companies.  NEA will keep working toward a bill that is fair and affordable, that brings insurance costs down by fostering competition, and that is in no way funded by an excise tax on workers’ benefits.

“All senators should stand alongside Sen. Reid and encourage a full debate on the Senate floor without permitting partisan tactics to delay this essential legislation.” 

For more information on NEA’s positions on health insurance reform, please go to

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization,
representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty,
 education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators
 and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Sara Robertson  (202) 822-7823,