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NEA echoes president’s call to pass comprehensive health care reform bill

WASHINGTON - July 22, 2009 -

In a prime time news conference tonight, President Barack Obama called for passage of comprehensive health care reform by the end of this year and described the consequences of inaction saying, “If we do not control these costs, we will not be able to control our deficit. If we do not reform health care, your premiums and out-of-pocket costs will continue to skyrocket. If we don't act, 14,000 Americans will continue to lose their health insurance every single day.”

Obama has called for health care reform via legislation that reduces costs, protects current coverage and preserves choice of doctors, hospitals, and health plans; and, ensures affordable, quality health care for all.

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

“The current health care system is broken and needs fixing now.  In September, over 9 million children will go back to school without receiving the basic medical and dental attention they need because they are uninsured, and their parents cannot afford to pay for the spiraling costs.  Children who come to school without adequate health care cannot learn effectively.  How can a sick child focus on learning all that educators have to teach?   In a country as great as ours and with our extensive resources—it’s unacceptable, indefensible and illogical. 

“We are closer than ever to quality, affordable health care coverage that lowers costs, guarantees coverage and provides more choice for all.  Congress has worked hard to earn a consensus on critical legislation, and members of Congress have a responsibility not to allow partisan attacks to get in the way. 

“Our students’ health comes before corporate profits, and their well-being shouldn’t be at the mercy of politicians more interested in re-election than in what’s best for our country.

“NEA asks everyone, including our 3.2 million members, to stand with President Obama and to work with their members of Congress to ensure that we enact quality affordable health care for all this year.”

For more information on NEA’s efforts about health care for all, please go to

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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: Sara Robertson  (202) 822-7823,