TRENTON – Senator Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, and Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, issued the following statement on Committee approval by a vote of 6-2, with 2 abstentions of her resolution, a Senate Committee Substitute for SR-47 and SR-100, which would call on Congress and the President to enact H.R. 676, the “United States National Health Insurance Act” to establish universal health care in our country:
“Nationally, we spend more than $3 trillion each year on health care in the United States. Of that, approximately $660 billion – more than 20 times the State Budget for FY 2010 – is spent on corporate profits, health executives’ salaries, stock options, advertizing, marketing, and the cost of paperwork.
“It’s time for a change.
“Fifty million Americans, including over one million New Jerseyans, do not have health insurance and have no way to access quality health care. Beyond that, millions more are struggling every day to pay the high cost of health insurance premiums, or may forego care even if they are insured, because they can’t afford the prescription drugs to treat their chronic medical conditions.
“By contrast, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) reported on Friday that there were 17,855 cases of confirmed or probable swine flu in this country. As much as I don’t want to down-play the seriousness of the swine flu epidemic, the lack of adequate health coverage is by far a much bigger health epidemic in the United States.
“Our national leaders must act now to adopt real, national universal health care for all health care consumers. H.R. 676, the ‘United States National Health Insurance Act,’ sponsored by Representative John Conyers, represents our nation’s best bet for sustainable universal care which will get people the access to the care they need, and will translate to lower health care bills for the rest of us.
“We spend enough on health care in this country to guarantee that health coverage should be within reach for all Americans. It’s time that the promise of universal health care be realized for the 50 million who’ve fallen through the cracks, and the millions more just barely hanging on.”