March 25, 2010
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On Final Passage of Healthcare Reform Reconciliation Bill
WASHINGTON—Congress' long, steep climb to the summit took many twists and turns, but morality trumped greed to give 32 million more Americans health insurance coverage. We applaud the Congress on final passage of the healthcare reform reconciliation legislation, which will create a safety net for the previously uninsured, curb insurance company abuses, and make important changes to the excise tax on some plans so that costs are not unfairly shifted to working families.
It is a shame that not one Republican voted for this transformative piece of social legislation. In the United States, healthcare that is accessible and affordable to all, and that enables seniors to purchase affordable medications, should be a right, not a privilege. Congress and the White House have now given Americans what they need and deserve.
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The AFT represents more than 1.4 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.