Sen. Orrock Joins Legislative Delegation in Washington to Urge Action on Health Care Reform

Sen. Orrock meets with U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and state Sen. Sharon Treat (D-ME) before a news conference on health care reform.

Sen. Orrock meets with U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and state Sen. Sharon Treat (D-ME) before a news conference on health care reform.

ATLANTA (June 19, 2009) – Sen. Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta) this week joined a delegation of state leaders on Capitol Hill to deliver a letter to the White House and Congress urging comprehensive health care reform within the year. The letter, which was signed by over 700 state legislators from 48 states, including Sen. Orrock and 12 other Georgia legislators, called for the federal reform bill to include the choice of a public health insurance option, strong affordability protections, and shared responsibility for health care costs.

The debate around public plan choice has been one of the most hotly contested issues in pending House and Senate legislation. According to Sen. Orrock, it is a solution that is sorely needed by Georgia residents. “Everyone should be free to choose from the widest range of health care options available. Many are happy with the care that they currently receive, and they should be able to keep it,” said Sen. Orrock. “But for those who can’t afford their premiums, are uninsured, or have been denied urgently needed care because of a pre-existing condition, they should have the choice of a public health insurance option that assures quality, affordable health care from a doctor of their choice.”

The legislative delegation, organized by the national group Progressive States Network, delivered the letter to the White House at an afternoon meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Nancy-Ann DeParle, the head of the White House Office on Health Reform. Earlier that morning, the delegation met with Speaker Pelosi’s health policy staff and delivered the letter to Congress at a Capitol Hill press conference hosted by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, third-ranking Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. At the meetings, Sen. Orrock shared the lessons of efforts to extend quality, affordable care in Georgia and was consulted on crafting a national solution that works for Georgia and other states.

According to Sen. Orrock, the active solicitation of input from state legislators marks a very promising development in the push to bring affordable health care to all Americans. “As the Obama Administration and Congress move forward to fashion a uniquely American solution to the health care crisis, I’m encouraged that they are consulting with state legislators to address the concerns and needs of our states. We have experience grappling with these issues and lessons to share. We need to move forward together to craft a system that assures quality, affordable health care, while lowering costs and preserving choice.”

Sen. Orrock added that legislators pledged to HHS Secretary Sebelius to continue sharing input from their states on health policy and to help broaden the conversation among constituents about their priorities for health care reform as the federal bill moves through Congress.

Sen. Nan Orrock represents the 36th Senate District which includes portions of Fulton County. She may be reached by phone at 404.463.8054 or via e-mail at nan.orrock@senate.ga.gov.

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release:
June 19, 2009
For Information Contact:
Raegan Weber, Director
Kallarin Richards, Senior Communications Specialist
kallarin.richards@senate.ga.gov
404.656.0028