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AFL-CIO Calls for a Better Bill

December 25th, 2009, 03:12 am admin Leave a comment Go to comments

The AFL-CIO responded to the passage of the Senate health bill with this post on their blog:

While passage of this legislation continues the momentum for health care reform, the Senate bill itself doesn’t live up to the kind of reform we need. The bill has many positive features, but it falls short in three key areas:

• It is paid for by a tax on working families’ health benefits.

• It fails to provide a public health insurance option, which would control costs by giving insurance companies real competition.

• It does not do enough to make sure employers are living up to their responsibility.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumkasaid:

For this health care bill to be worthy of the support of working men and women, substantial changes must be made. The AFL-CIO intends to fight on behalf of all working families to make those changes and win health care reform that is deserving of the name.

The House bill is the model for genuine health care reform.  Working people cannot accept anything less than real reform.

Click here to read Trumka’s statement.


The U.S. House passed a bill that was far better on critical points like funding, employer responsibility and a public option. The Senate could have, and should have, passed a better bill. But the intransigence of Republicans who refused to participate or even support a vote on health care reform, the powerful leverage of the insurance industry and the rules of the Senate, which allow a small number of Senators to hold legislation hostage, left the Senate with a disappointing and inadequate bill.

House and Senate leaders now must come together and craft a combined bill that each side will need to vote on once more. The process of creating this combined bill is a vital opportunity for real health care reform, and we must let our members of Congress know what real reform means.

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