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Obama Speech Boosts Health Care Hopes in WI

January 28, 2010

MADISON, Wisc. - President Obama used the State of the Union Address last night to renew his call for health care reform, a message that is bringing hope to some in Wisconsin. The National Association of Social Workers in Wisconsin has been vocal in its support of the need for universal health care since the debate began.

Executive director Marc Herstand says the window is still open, but inaction could mean millions of people would lack critical care.

"It would be a shame if they didn't complete the work and get it done. If it doesn't get done now, it could be years."

The health care debate took on new urgency after a Massachusetts election negated the Democrats' super-majority in the Senate. Herstand says his group remains committed to a universal single-payer plan, but anything that moves the nation closer to that is a step in the right direction.

Opponents say the Democratic plans are too costly and will result in less choice and diminished quality of care, but the President urged Congress not to walk away from the health care issue at this critical juncture. Herstand contends the time is right to get something passed, even if it isn't perfect.

"Even though my organization has always supported universal health care - in fact, we supported the single-payer plan - we also would support anything that moved us closer to full coverage."

More information is available from Herstand at the National Association of Social Workers, Madison, 608-257-6334.

Glen Gardner, Public News Service - WI