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Fattah Calls on Colleagues to Move Healthcare

Friday, January 29, 2010 General News J E 4
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Philadelphia Congressman advocates comprehensive reform with improvements on Senate bill.

"Just as in the House and first grade classrooms, 59 is greater than 41."

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) today took the next step in pushing for comprehensive healthcare reform with a direct appeal to colleagues in Congress to approve the Senate healthcare bill and simultaneously advance the House-Senate-White House agreement on improvements to the bill.

The Senate, even without a filibuster-proof Democratic caucus, retains an overwhelming majority in favor of reforming the healthcare system to cut costs and extend coverage to tens of millions who are uninsured or underinsured, Fattah said.

The Philadelphia Congressman, a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, wrote in a "Dear Colleague" letter that a strong and comprehensive health care bill that meets President Obama's objectives is within reach. The letter follows up on the aggressive strategy Fattah has been advocating all along -- and especially in the wake of the January 19th, Massachusetts special election.

"We should simultaneously pass the House-Senate-White House agreed amendments through the House and Senate with the Budget Reconciliation process and the Senate healthcare bill.  Just as in the House of Representatives and 1st grade classrooms, 59 is greater than 41," Fattah wrote. "It would be morally and intellectually dishonest to allow the results of the special election in one state to trump the 50-state results of 2008."  

Citing conversations with House leadership and fellow Members of Congress, including the Pennsylvania delegation, Fattah implored his fellow Representatives to advance this critical initiative and also continue with the important work of reviving the national economy and building a stronger future. 

Below is the text of Congressman Fattah's Letter:

January 27, 2010

How We Should Proceed on Healthcare Reform

Dear Democratic Colleague:

It has now been over a year since the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama.  His election was historic in many ways, including the scope of the mandate he received.  The President was voted into office by 66,882,230 Americans, 365 members of the Electoral College and 28 states in every region of the country.  We are now at the finish line for one of his top priorities for an issue central to his campaign, which is meaningful healthcare reform that reduces costs and increases access for every American.  As I said the morning after the Massachusetts Special Election, it would be morally and intellectually dishonest to allow the results of the special election in one state to trump the 50-state results of 2008.

After over a year of meetings with constituents, public hearings and legislative negotiation, we have two comprehensive bills that are similar in construction and intent and are worth the work it took to make them happen.  Our best course of action is to fulfill the demands of our constituents, meet the needs of our economy and prepare for the many other challenges that face us as the people's Representatives.  We should simultaneously pass the House-Senate-White House agreed amendments through the House and Senate with the Budget Reconciliation process and the Senate healthcare bill.  Just as in the House of Representatives and 1st grade classrooms, 59 is greater than 41.

Having spoken with the Speaker, the Majority Leader, the Whip, the Caucus Chairman, my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee, as well as Representatives Schwartz and Doyle, who have been critical to progress to date, I look forward to working with all of you to ensure that we meet the challenges people face head on and address the critical issues of our time.

Very truly yours,

Chaka Fattah

Member of Congress 

SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

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