Rep. Chu Lauds Passage of Health Reform, Reconciliation Bills
Rep. Judy Chu today issued the following statement lauding yesterday's historic House vote on health care reform. Congresswoman Chu voted yes on both H.R. 3590, the Senate version of the health care reform bill, and on H.R. 4872, the Reconciliation Act approved by the House to make changes to the Senate bill (Click here to see video of Rep. Chu's floor speech).
"For one hundred years, Democratic and Republican Presidents from Teddy Roosevelt to Harry Truman, Richard Nixon to Bill Clinton, have tried and failed to provide quality and affordable health care to most Americans. Today, I am humbled and honored to have voted for a historic piece of legislation that finally makes that long-elusive goal a reality.
"The strength, leadership and perseverance of President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and our other Congressional leaders have shown in shepherding this bill to this point cannot be overstated. We would not be here without their monumental efforts.
"Like all bills, this one is not perfect. I still believe that a public option would have been the best mechanism to ensure lower premiums and access to all Americans. I am disappointed at the onerous restrictions against immigrants purchasing insurance, and at the roadblocks contained in the bill that hamper women's access to the full reproductive rights guaranteed to them under the law.
"But the simple fact is that this bill, when signed by the president, will provide health insurance to a full 95 percent of Americans; will prohibit insurance companies from discriminating against individuals because or preexisting conditions or gender, or from dropping their coverage if they suddenly become gravely ill; and will do so while at the same time reducing our federal deficit by a full $1.3 trillion over the next 20 years.
"I laude my colleagues in Congress, particularly those in competitive districts, who followed President Obama's advice to cast their vote not for him, not for the Democratic Party, but for the American people. As the President said, this vote is exactly what we went into politics for in the first place: to help our fellow citizens, and rarely do we get a chance to do so with such wide-ranging impact and on such a historic scale as we have with this bill.
"And I am confident that when the president signs this bill into law, and its effects begin to immediately be felt across the nation, even those who have vehemently opposed this bill will realize what hundreds of my constituents who have spoken out at town halls in my district already know: that this bill is a win-win for our seniors, for our families, for our doctors and for America.
"With today's House vote, we are just a few steps away from changing our health care system for the better and ensuring that America treats its people with the respect, dignity and compassion they deserve."