Health Care Reform: Affordable Health Choices

Uploaded by SenateDemocrats on 16.06.2009

Today we're standing together with men and women
from throughout this country,
many of whom are here from Maryland.
And we're standing together,
because really whether you are a patient,
whether you are an employer,
or whether you are a provider,
you need a government on your side
to make sure that we write
a brand new prescription for what is ailing
the American health care system.
We are told that if we don't do something
at this moment as much as fifty percent
of the gross income of an average family in this country
could be spent on health care costs, very quickly.
That is just unacceptable.
So we have no choice in my view but to reform the system.
To step up and do the job that the
American public are asking us to do.
And that is to create accessible, affordable, quality health care.
We know that the health of our families,
the survival of our businesses,
and the long term economic stability
depends on us making sure that health care works for all
Americans today because today it just is not.
Thanks to the President's directive,
and the tremendous work of the Senators
that you see up here, Senator Dodd, and Senator Kennedy,
as well as the Finance Committee.
We are working hard because we know that
we have an historic opportunity
to make health care work and to take on the challenge of providing
quality affordable health care for everyone.
As Democrats, here in the congress,
we're not interested in changing a system
just in the sake of changing it.
If you like what you have you get to keep it.
We believe in choice, you ought to be able to choose your doctor,
choose your hospital, choose the kind of coverage
you want to have.
We're not interested in changing that which works,
we're interested in reforming that which doesn't work,
and a lot doesn't.
We spend a lot of time over the last number of months,
in fact going back a year or more,
sitting with each other the staffs working together
to formulate the bills that we introduced last week.
I hope that we will focus more on what is brings us together
than what pulls us apart.
I think that there is more in there,
there is a center of gravity pulling us together,
rather than a few things that might tend to pull us apart.
There is a lot that we can agree upon.
That I think that building on those common agreements
we can put together legislation
That would be very good for the country.
And I hope that we have serious buy-in
by all of our colleagues in that effort.
Nothing would make me happier,
than to have us come out with a strong bipartisan bill.
I begin that process with that goal in mind.
Not to achieve bipartisanship and a weak product,
But to have a strong product that is endorsed
by people across the political divide of the United States Senate.
I still believe that is achievable.
I still believe that it's achievable.
Our determination again is accessible, affordable, quality health care.
I want these young people behind us here
who are entering the health professions,
I want them to give them as much time and attention
and care to keeping people healthy,
as they will do keeping,
getting people well after they've been sick.
So we have to change the sick care system
to a true holistic health care system.
It's an economic issue,
it's also a human rights issue, in my opinion.
It's a question of providing
that which people ought to have.
This is not an optional commodity,
this is not about what sort of a car you want to buy.
Or whether or not you ought to have a T.V. or not.
When an American gets sick and is in trouble
they ought to have the comfort of knowing they can be helped.
That ought not to be determined how well off you are.