Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–February 22, 2010. Service Employees International Union (SEIU) President Andy Stern released the following statement after the release of President Obama’s proposal for health reform:
“This Thursday, Congress has an opportunity to break the gridlock that has denied American families the health insurance reform they are so desperately calling for and need.”
“Our elected representatives need look no further than their own communities to see people hurting. All around this country, we are watching the health insurance industry jack up its premiums. We hear every day about another colleague, another friend, another family member losing their health care coverage. And because our system is broken, we are even losing loved ones.
“We are losing people like Melanie Shouse, a health care activist who passed away from breast cancer and at the time was still fighting with her insurance company that refused to cover her chemotherapy.
“Health insurance reform was the cause of Melanie’s life, and now hundreds of citizens inspired by her bravery and courage are marching her message forward. For the past week, women and men from all walks of life have braved the cold to march from Philadelphia to Washington DC to make sure Congress finishes the job.
“The President recognized with his proposal today that people like Melanie should not have to lose their life because of an insurance company refuses treatment. That insurance companies cannot be allowed to gouge Americans with rate increases that force them to pay up to 39% more for the exact same coverage. And that working families deserve health insurance that covers more and costs less.
“With the President’s leadership and thoughtful consideration that the only way forward is with comprehensive reform, there is a guarantee that reform can and will be meaningful. And, it is because of that commitment and that of Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi, that every American will soon have a renewed sense of security and a healthcare system that works for them.
“This Wednesday, I will be in Washington DC standing with Melanie’s marchers and hundreds of others to remind Congress there is but one choice: pass comprehensive health insurance reform. After more than a year of debate and more than a century of talk but little action, there is no doubt, the time is now.”