U.S. Representative Jim Cooper today issued the following statement regarding his vote on H.R. 3962, the health care reform legislation expected to be considered by the House.
"I am grateful to the thousands of Nashville-area residents who have shared their opinion on health care reform with me. Everyone feels strongly because health care is so important to our lives. Having read the pending bills and having taught health policy at Vanderbilt business school for twelve years, I have made the following decision:
I will vote yes on H.R. 3962. My vote is not an endorsement of all the provisions of the bill because I find much of the bill to be deeply flawed. There is little chance that H.R. 3962 will become law due to the long legislative process.
My reason for voting yes is to advance the cause of health care reform by forcing the Senate to act. Without passage of this House bill, the Senate could delay reform indefinitely. That would be the worst possible outcome because our current health-care system is not sustainable. Congress needs to pass good health legislation in the next few months for the good of the country.
Passing legislation is a little like writing a term paper in school. The first draft is usually not very good. The second draft is better -- H.R. 3962 is the second draft. The bill that the Senate will vote on will be the third draft, which I expect to show major improvement. The final draft will be written next month when the House and the Senate vote on the same bill. I will continue to work hard to make sure that the final legislation helps all of our families get quality, affordable health care."