Press Release

House Passage of Affordable Health Care Act Is a Victory for All Americans Statement of Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers

For Release: 

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Contact:

AFT Media Affairs
202/879-4458
press@aft.org


WASHINGTON—The historic passage of the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962) by the U.S. House of Representatives is a significant and hard-won victory for all Americans. On behalf of the more than 1.4 million members of the AFT, I commend and thank Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer for their leadership and commitment on this important effort.

The rising cost of healthcare places a tremendous strain on families, businesses, state governments and the federal budget. Reforming healthcare is a critical component of stabilizing and strengthening our national economy.

The bill passed tonight by the House provides for a public health insurance plan that will help contain costs while guaranteeing high-quality, affordable healthcare for all. Under this bill, working men and women fortunate enough to have employer-provided insurance will not have that benefit taxed. This important provision recognizes, and avoids, the inherent conflict in the suggestion that healthcare can be reformed by making it less affordable and accessible for those who already have it.

We also applaud the inclusion of an employer mandate and important measures that could lead to improved staffing standards in our nation’s healthcare facilities.

The American Federation of Teachers will continue to work for affordable, high-quality healthcare for all Americans, and we urge the Senate to move quickly to pass a bill that moves us closer to making this a reality.

Yesterday, the AFT sent a letter about the bill to the U.S. House of Representatives. The letter is available at http://www.aft.org//pdfs/press/ltr_randihouse110609.pdf

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The AFT represents 1.7 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.