[WI, March 22, 2010] – Working family activists in Wisconsin hailed the “courageous” vote by Reps. Baldwin, Kind, Moore, Obey and Kagen to pass landmark health care legislation this weekend.
“Facing down an onslaught of lies and cynical moves to derail this landmark legislation, these five Representatives stood with Wisconsin working families, not greedy insurance companies, and we applaud their courageous action,” said David Newby, Wisconsin State AFL-CIO President. “This vote is a momentous step toward comprehensive health care reform; Wisconsin small businesses, employees and seniors can take comfort that we are on the path to long-term health security.”
The legislation stops insurance companies from denying health care due to consumers’ pre-existing health conditions and dropping coverage for people who get sick. It stops the relentless rise in health care costs and expands coverage for 32 million Americans. The legislation also makes prescription drugs more affordable for seniors and helps small businesses struggling with skyrocketing costs. It is projected to reduce the federal budget deficit by $1.3 trillion over the next two decades.
A determined effort by working people in Wisconsin to pass the bill was mirrored by working families across the country. Over the past year, union members nationwide made over 4 million phone calls. In addition, Working America, the AFL-CIO community affiliate, talked to more than 210,000 people at their front doors, generating 30,000 health care petitions, 31,000 phone calls, 40,000 e-mails and 75,000 letters urging lawmakers to pass reform.
The final improvements in the legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives must still be approved by the U.S. Senate. Said Newby, “We urge Senators Feingold and Kohl to work to pass this legislation speedily and get it to the President’s desk to be signed.”