U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is anticipating a health care reform package to go to a vote in the Senate soon and be sent to the president before year's end.

In a Thursday conference call, Brown and President Obama's director of Health Reform, Nancy-Ann DeParle, spoke briefly about the status of health care reform and the impact of health care costs on citizens. DeParle referred to Brown as a "key ally" for health care reform.

In 2008-09, 31.5 percent of residents in Ross County and 38.09 percent in Pike County had trouble paying medical bills in the past year, according to the Health Policy Institute of Ohio. More than 30 percent of those in Ross and Pike counties also reported troubles paying for other necessities such as food and shelter as a result of high medical costs.

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