For Immediate Release
December 24, 2009

Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) Remarks Following Final Passage of the Senate Health Care Reform Bill

As Prepared for Delivery

“It has been nearly two years since we began our work on health care reform here in the Senate. And all of that work has lead us to this moment -- to this historic vote.

As we stand at the finish line here in the Senate, we are not alone. We stand with those who have blazed the trail ahead of us -- tireless champions of reform, such as our good friend Ted Kennedy.

We stand with the millions of American families who have been forced into bankruptcy to cover the cost of caring for a loved one who is sick. We stand on behalf of the 45,000 Americans who die each year simply because they do not have health insurance and the millions more who live in fear.

We stand with America’s small business owners, more than half of whom have been forced to reduce benefits or cut health insurance coverage for their workers in the last two years, because the costs simply became too much to bear.

We stand with Americans suffering from diseases like cancer and diabetes and all of those who have been discriminated against or denied the health insurance coverage they need because of a pre-existing condition.

Today we made history for them and every American who has fallen victim to our broken health care system. I thank Leader Reid for his excellent management of this process, Senators Dodd and Harkin for their unwavering commitment to reform and every Member across the entire Senate for their tireless work with us on this bill.

This is a bill we can all be proud of. This is a bill that will finally provide the reforms American families, businesses and workers have been waiting on for decades. But there is more to be done before we can put these reforms to work for the American people.

I look forward to working quickly with my colleagues to bring the Senate and House bills together and deliver meaningful health care reform legislation to President Obama’s desk so the American people can begin to see the benefits of these historic reforms as soon as possible.”