November 21, 2009

Senate Votes to Begin Health Reform Debate

Udall: Vote brings U.S. closer to goal "generations in the making"

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Udall, D-NM, released the following statement regarding the U.S. Senate’s 60 - 39 vote this evening to begin debate on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

“Tonight’s vote by the U.S. Senate brings us an important step closer to completing a journey generations in the making -- the goal of health care reform is to provide quality, affordable coverage for all Americans. I believe we accomplish that with the legislation that will now be considered by the full Senate.

“New Mexicans can’t afford the health care status quo. With this bill, the vast majority of New Mexicans will have access to secure health care coverage. It also helps small businesses by making employee coverage more affordable and improves access to health care in our rural areas.

“Americans have waited generations for health care reform. With this vote, I’m happy to say that wait is almost over. Soon, we will have a system where access to health care is not a privilege of the wealthy, but a fundamental right of every American. As we enter the final weeks of this historic debate, we do so with a comprehensive bill that will save lives, save jobs, save money and save Medicare.”