Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) today released the following statement in response to the vote in the House of Representatives to repeal last year's historic health care reform.
"Last week, Speaker Boehner was right to postpone this vote and suspend the House's usual business, but many hoped he'd also end business as usual in Washington when work resumed. Unfortunately, in this vote America received a discouraging answer in the form of a political charade that would endanger Americans' health care if it had any chance of moving forward in the Senate. It doesn't, and they know it, which is why it's all the more political and all the more troubling when America faces real problems which demand adult answers.
"House Republicans campaigned saying they wanted to "repeal and replace,' but instead they voted to repeal reform and return to a broken system that punished patients and crushed businesses with soaring costs. Americans deserve better than a vote to strip health insurance from 32 million Americans, increase taxes on small businesses, and return to an era where 129 million Americans with preexisting conditions are at the mercy of insurance companies.
"If the House bill became law, it would cost Massachusetts billions of dollars, erode Medicare for one million Bay State seniors, and effectively cripple the largest sector of the Massachusetts economy. We can do better, and Congress can be better than this. We spent two years asking Republicans to join us in a bipartisan effort to reign in health care costs and extend coverage to millions. Instead, they spent the last Congress in lockstep opposition, and spread untruths about imaginary death panels. Last November, Americans again sent a message that they want government to work for them. They asked Washington to stop the political games. Instead, the House has started the new Congress with more of the same. This isn't how you govern. The Senate now becomes the last line of defense for good public policy."