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Public Statements

Health Care Reform

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Madam Speaker, for a long time I have started discussions about health care with the phrase, ``Setting aside the moral dimension, let's talk about the costs and the need to bring down costs.''

I want to come back to that moral dimension. I want to come back to the fact that at the core of that moral dimension is the belief that we look after our own; that if you were attacked by your enemies, we send the best military in the world for hundreds of billions of dollars. If your house catches fire, we will send men and equipment to put out that fire. If an assailant enters your home, we will send men and equipment to look after our own.

But if you're one of the tens of thousands of people diagnosed with breast cancer, coronary disease, leukemia, well, then we're not sure. We might look after you if you have a job, if you can keep that job, if you don't have preexisting conditions, if you haven't committed the sin of getting older.

Madam Speaker, if we are to be true to what is the value of this country, that we look after our own, we will finally join the company of civilized nations and say, Every American, we will look after you; you will not die needlessly, by passing health care reform.

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