Health Care Reform

Senator Burris Delivers Senate Floor Speech on Legacy of Health Care Reform Debate in America

WASHINGTON, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–October 22, 2009.  United States Senator Roland W. Burris today spoke from the floor of the United States Senate on the plight of health care reform after nearly a century of debate.  Drawing on the wisdom of past leaders of the health care reform movement, Senator Burris explained that while ten former presidents from both political parties have tried to pass health care reform, our nation is at an important crossroads, and health care reform must finally become reality after nearly 100 years.

Beginning with the origins of the health care debate during President Theodore Roosevelt’s campaign for a third term as president, Senator Burris spoke of past presidents’ attempts to pass comprehensive health care reform, from Harry Truman to Franklin Roosevelt, from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush.  Not only did these influential leaders see the value and importance in passing comprehensive health care reform, almost all of them knew that the right answer to health care reform was some form of a public option.

Knowing that our nation’s health care system was broken, ten presidents from both political parties all fought for comprehensive health care reform, but their efforts fell short every time.  Now that President Barack Obama has become the eleventh president in the last 100 years to take up the challenge of health care reform, Senator Burris is assured that President Obama will heed the experiences of his predecessors and will meet the challenge of passing comprehensive health care reform for all Americans.

“Despite the leadership of ten presidents from both political parties, we are faced with the same broken system that has troubled our elected leaders for almost a century,” said Senator Burris. “These ten presidents were Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, and although their lives and administrations might have been very different, there was at least one thing they could all agree on.   Every one of them supported comprehensive healthcare reform.  The weight of history and of consensus cannot be denied, and it can no longer be ignored.  We must pass meaningful healthcare reform that includes a public option.  Our nation has been debating this issue for nearly 100 years. Now is not the time to back down. We have talked for a century, so let us now act with conviction.”

Senator Burris, a vocal proponent of the inclusion of a public option in health care reform, has made headlines over the past weeks for his vow not to support any health care reform legislation that does not include a public option.  Senator Burris has spoken from the Senate floor nearly every day to vocalize his insistence on a public option, which will make health insurance more affordable, restore choice, and promote competition among insurance companies.