The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Lori Lodes, (202) 730-7680
Mark McCullough, (202) 730-7283

House Committees Increase Momentum on Long March towards American Healthcare Reform


Service Employees International Union (SEIU) President Andy Stern released the following statement after the House Ways & Means and Education & Labor Committees concluded their markup of healthcare reform legislation, joining the Senate HELP Committee in proving that comprehensive reform is both fiscally responsible and legislatively achievable this year:

"President Obama promised to finally make healthcare affordable and available to every single American by bringing Democrats and Republicans leaders in Congress together to get the job done. Today, we see the results of true political leadership and what a commitment to keeping your promises looks like: three healthcare reform bills passing out of committees in a single week.

"Congressmen Miller and Rangel, their committees and their staffs literally worked tirelessly to do what it took to ensure hardworking Americans like Eula Williams have access to the quality, affordable healthcare they deserve. Williams, an early childhood teacher from Lafayette, Louisiana and mother of six knows having insurance can mean little if it is not affordable or doesn't provide the coverage you need. High deductibles from her husband's two open-heart surgeries created a financial burden that has undermined her security and ability to help send her children to college or save for her own retirement.

"Every week we move another step closer to reform that brings down costs for the American people, but this week we have really seen the momentum build. Three healthcare bills, a renewed commitment to pass reform before the August Congressional recess, the addition of the AMA and ANA to the reform coalition, Target Corporation and other employers joining Wal-Mart in supporting shared employer responsibility and the return of Harry and Louise to our TV screens but this time to back healthcare reform.

"President Obama and our leaders in Congress are going to get this done for hardworking Americans like Eula Williams. Everyone - individuals, business, and government - is coming together and sharing responsibility in solving America's healthcare crisis."

With 2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers--not just corporations and CEOs--benefit from today's global economy.