WASHINGTON - Forty-six million Americans between the ages of 18 and 64 are without health insurance. As many as 25 million more are underinsured. It's a problem U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown said urgently needs addressed.

Brown, D-Ohio, said Wednesday he is pushing to see Congress approve funds for public health insurance as part of the budget. A public health plan option would help lower health costs, improve quality of care, and ensure access in rural and other underserved areas, Brown said.

"Comprehensive health reform is not only a moral issue it's critical to getting our economy back on track," Brown said. "We can't achieve economic prosperity if families are only one hospital visit away from financial disaster or American businesses struggle to compete globally due to health care costs."

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