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NEA president joins Obama's call for comprehensive health insurance


WASHINGTON - September 09, 2009 -

President Barack Obama addressed a joint session of Congress tonight, calling for swift action on a health insurance reform bill.

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

"President Obama reaffirmed the critical need to reform health care in our country and provide a system that lowers costs, ensures quality and provides choice for every American. The president wants reform that will provide more security and stability to those who have health care coverage.  It will expand coverage to those who don't have it.  And it will slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government.

"NEA members in every congressional district watched this summer as too many members of Congress played politics with their best chance for access to quality, affordable health care coverage.  The time for games and gimmicks has passed.  The NEA agrees with the president that a not for profit public option is essential to holding insurance companies accountable to provide quality affordable health care coverage for all, and that we will continue to work hard for a health insurance reform bill that includes a robust public option.

"Nine million of America's children are uninsured and many of them have gone back to school-their parents unable to afford basic health care. Congress has at least 9 million reasons to put politics aside and make the uninsured their number one priority. Our children deserve better. America deserves better."

For more information on NEA's health insurance reform activities, please go to www.nea.org/healthcare.

To see NEA's map of uninsured children by state and member stories, please go to www.nea.org/home/35429.htm.

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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, newsdeadline@nea.org