Congressman John B. Larson (CT-01), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, issued the following statement on the floor of the House of Representatives during historic debate on America's Affordable Health Choices Act. (As prepared for delivery.)
"The growth of the nation cannot be achieved without caring for the health of all its citizens. 36 million Americans await our action on the House floor today. 36 million Americans watched as the fear-mongers stood on the steps of our Capitol this week, telling them to be afraid. They tried to spread the same fear in the struggle for Social Security and Medicare. It did not stop us then and it will not stop us now.
"Today, we will put a stop to the fear and address the real threat, the real danger the American people face: the woman next to you on the train spreading the flu because she couldn't afford to see a doctor; the little boy in the sandbox with your child whose parents couldn't afford his vaccinations; and -- if we've learned anything from the H1N1 epidemic -- the billions of dollars these public health emergencies cost us.
"On this historic day, this Congress will pass a bill that will improve the fiscal and physical health of the entire nation by improving the health of all our citizens. It is a statement of our values. It is testimony to how we care for our fellow citizens. It is at the very core of all that America stands for and why we came here to serve.
"36 million Americans deserve nothing less!"