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Health care reform legislation offers America a way forward

NEA applauds Congress for doing the right thing

WASHINGTON - March 21, 2010 -

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed historic health care reform legislation that will benefit many Americans. The House bill will make quality affordable health care available to millions and provide greater security for seniors. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the bill also will reduce the federal deficit by more than $100 billion over the next decade, the largest reduction in the federal deficit since the 1990s. The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel:

"This is a proud and historic moment for America. Today’s vote is a marker for our future. Reforming our health care system will help ensure that our people are physically ready and that our nation is better prepared to meet the fiscal challenges of competing in a global economy. This vote puts quality health care within reach for the more than 8 million uninsured children, making it possible for them to come to school healthy and ready to learn.

"People of all ages, from all walks of life will be the beneficiaries. This legislation will improve health care coverage for many who already have health insurance; extend coverage to millions of uninsured; guarantee people with pre-existing conditions that they will not lose their health insurance; improve Medicare for seniors; protect families from bankruptcy, due to spiraling health care costs and allow hundreds of young adults to maintain coverage on their parents’ insurance plans.

"We applaud the House for doing the right thing for our nation and the American people. It takes leadership and compassion to stand up and do what is right. Today, 220 members of Congress held true to the courage of their convictions and offered a ray of hope for ordinary Americans. 

"Health care reform has been pursued for more than 50 years, by seven presidents, today’s vote brings us closer than ever to realizing the goal of quality affordable health care for our people, regardless of age, background, income, or where you live. NEA calls on the Senate to follow the House’s lead and pass a final health care reform bill without delay. We hope the day will soon come when millions of children in this country will be able to do something they’ve never done before— see a doctor without an ER visit."

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional 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: René Carter  (202) 822-7823,