Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–March 26, 2010. Service Employees International Union President Andy Stern released the following statement upon the Senate’s vote on the reconciliation fixes to the health reform law:
“Hope. Progress. Change. There are many words that come to mind when thinking back on the long journey our country has taken to reach this day, but hope, progress and change keep coming back to me when I think about how far we have come.
“This journey was never easy – fundamental change never is. But we marched forward and we made progress. We did what generations have hoped to do. We changed our nation and declared healthcare a right.
“We took Georgeanne Koehler’s hope that no other person would lose a brother because he couldn’t afford the thousands it took to replace the battery in his defibrillator, and made it a reality. Together, we realized the change Pat DeJong called for – that no other family should lose their home as she did when her husband’s medical debt mounted. And we stood together to make change for Linda Scott, whose18 year old daughter died after they were not able to afford an X-Ray that would have saved her life.
“Along the way, the stories of Georgeanne Koehler, Pat DeJong, Linda Scott and countless other American heroes showed us that failure was not an option. Their struggles and their insistence that we can and must do better reminded us of the great resilience and courage that defines our country.
“It is true that without the leadership of President Obama, Majority Leader Reid, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, this day would still be just a cause worth fighting for. But today we cannot forget the American people who stood behind them with the courage, the fortitude and the compassion that makes this nation great.
“As we think about the hope, progress and change that got us here today, we shall never forget that in America dreams still can come true.”
With 2.2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers — not just corporations and CEOs — benefit from today’s global economy.