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Rural Advocate: "Move Forward on Health Care Reform"

January 28, 2010

LYONS, Neb. - Advocates of health care reform are urging supporters in Congress to move ahead, before the entire process gets bogged down. John Crabtree with the Center for Rural Affairs says the bill passed by the Senate is at least a beginning.

"Rural America, rural South Dakota, like much of the Midwest and Great Plains, has unique and serious health care challenges that need to be addressed and reformed. The Senate bill, while not perfect - not anywhere near perfect - addresses a number of those key concerns, a number of those key challenges."

Some of the challenges Crabtree lists include affordability and access to health care, especially for the self- employed. He says one bill would never have achieved total health care reform.

"Anybody who believed that one piece of legislation was going to fix health care in this country was crazy to begin with. It's not. This is a long process. We are talking about a first step; the Senate bill is a good step forward. We should take that step."

Crabtree says they are urging House members who may be on the fence about the bill to vote for it and keep the process moving. He fears if it bogs down, a lot of progress will be lost.

The debate over health care reform will swing to the U.S. House when members of Congress return to Washington.

Jerry Oster, Public News Service - SD