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Governor Janet Napolitano At The Democratic National Convention in Boston

Location: Boston, MA

Governor Janet Napolitano At The Democratic National Convention in Boston, Tuesday July 27, 2004

A leader - a hero - is someone who reaches out a hand when neighbors need help. Someone who has a vision of a better world, and brings everyone along. Someone who gives of himself for the good of us all.

He's someone who answers the call.

From a Navy gunboat in Vietnam, to a prosecutor's office in Massachusetts, to the floor of the United States Senate - John Kerry has always answered his country's call to serve.

This year, America is calling on him one more time, to rebuild the strength of our nation and lift up everyone who's willing to work for the American Dream.

Today, for millions of our people, that dream is like a mirage in the Arizona desert - it's alluring, but it's not real. John Kerry will bring the American Dream back to life for every American who works hard and does what's right - and he will start by tackling the rising costs of health care for all our people.

Hard work used to be the price of admission to the American Dream. But hard work alone is no longer enough to keep up with spiraling health costs.

Every day, across Arizona and throughout America, people like you and me sit down at the dinner table - long after the children have gone to sleep - and struggle to figure out how to pay their health insurance premiums.

Every day, millions of older Americans are forced to buy prescription drugs at prices that are devouring their life savings - or at times choose between paying for prescription drugs, buying groceries, or paying the rent.

Every day, people go to work with the knowledge that they are just one serious illness or accident away from financial ruin.

America's health care crisis isn't about statistics. It isn't about politics. It is about people - our families, our neighbors, our friends.

And it's time they got the President and the health care they deserve.

It is about a mother in Tucson who works full-time to support her children but cannot afford health insurance for them, even though cancer runs in her family. It's about a high school basketball player whose future was clouded when he suffered a stroke that has robbed him of his athletic scholarship and left his parents fighting to keep him insured as an adult.

It's also about businesses having a harder time doing the right thing to provide coverage for their workers. You know something has gone very wrong when Starbucks pays more for health care than it does for coffee beans, and Ford pays more for health care than it does for steel.

Health care costs have exploded over the past four years, and Americans have had enough. As I've traveled Arizona, I've noticed that a lot of people just aren't talking about their health insurance problems

- I think it makes their blood pressure rise, and they can't afford the medicine to bring it back under control.

My friends, we are more than ready to make a change. And John Kerry is ready to make a difference. Because he knows the daily struggles Americans are facing - and John Kerry has a plan.

Under John Kerry's plan, every American will have access to affordable, reliable health care. He'll do it by cutting through government red tape.

And by cutting taxes for businesses that do the right thing and offer health plans for their employees. That's not just good health care policy. When companies with health plans have an easier time keeping workers on the job, that's good for business. That's good for our families. It's good for America.

Under John Kerry's plan, every American can get the same high-quality health care that members of Congress have. You and I pay for that health plan - and it's time we got to be part of it.

And John Kerry will help working families with tax credits so they can afford this care.

John Kerry knows healthy children grow up stronger and they perform better in school. That's why his plan will cover all our children.

And John Kerry knows that every senior deserves access to affordable prescription drugs. Right now, seniors can find affordable drugs - as long as they go to Canada and Mexico.

But can you believe that this Administration has actually made it illegal to negotiate lower drug prices on behalf of seniors?

Not only will John Kerry allow Medicare negotiate better drug prices - he'll demand it.

And John Kerry trusts us to make decisions about our health and the health of our loved ones. Under his plan, medical decisions will be made by doctors and patients, not HMOs and insurance companies.

It's time Americans stopped being pushed around by their HMOs and started getting the affordable, reliable health care they need.

It's time we gave every American child a healthy start in life.

It's time we had a better way to get Americans health care than using emergency rooms for basic medical needs.

It's time our seniors can afford to fill their prescriptions at the corner pharmacy and not in another country.

My friends, it's time to build a stronger America, to renew the American dream, and make health care affordable and available for all of us.

This November, it's time to bring an American hero - a real leader - to the White House.

It's time to elect John Kerry President of the United States.

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