WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) issued the following statement upon passage of health reform legislation by the U.S. House of Representatives:
"This is a historic moment for our country. The health reform bill headed to President Obama's desk will reduce the deficit, ensure that more than 30 million uninsured Americans have access to affordable health coverage, and lower premiums for middle-class families and small businesses.
"Too many insurance companies are reaping record profits, yet raising premiums for consumers. This bill will ban insurance companies from denying care if you have a pre-existing condition or cancelling coverage if you get sick. Skyrocketing health costs have undermined the competitiveness of our nation's small businesses and the security of our middle class households. Health reform will change this.
"While passing this bill hasn't been easy, neither was passing Medicare in 1965 after a 22-year battle. Before Medicare, half of the nation's seniors had no health coverage. Now, 97 percent of them do. The critics of this legislation, like those of previous generations who railed against the creation of Medicare and Social Security, will be on the wrong side of history. They are playing to the fears of Americans, a cynical political strategy that will not succeed.
"Every American family should have access to a family doctor. This bill is the first of many steps we'll take to ensure that middle-class families who work hard and play by the rules can still get ahead."