Below, from Burris......
Senator Roland W. Burris Delivers Major Address on Health Care Reform
Insists that strong public option will be cost-effective, competitive and accountable
CHICAGO, IL--United States Senator Roland W. Burris delivered a major address on Monday outlining his position on the proposed health care reform bill and expressed the need for a strong public option to be included in the final legislation. Senator Burris delivered his remarks to Illinois constituents and health care professionals at Stroger Hospital in Chicago.
In recent weeks, Senator Burris has emerged as a key swing vote in the Senate's Democratic caucus. With Republicans refusing to support health care legislation, the vote count has tightened, and Senate leadership and the White House now need every one of their 60 votes to proceed.
Burris, a strong and vocal advocate of a robust public option, has vowed that he will vote against any legislation that does not include the strong public option. Burris took the opportunity at Stroger Hospital today to define his version of a strong public option, insisting that it will create real and meaningful competition, lower costs and increase quality, and will hold insurance companies accountable.
"Two months ago, I stood on the floor of the U.S. Senate and made a firm commitment. It's a commitment I've restated from the Senate floor nearly every single day that we've been in session. I told my colleagues that I would not rest - would not compromise - and would not stop fighting until a strong public option is included in our health reform bill," said Senator Burris. "And I remain just as committed today. So I'll tell you what I told them: I will not vote for any reform legislation that fails to include a strong public option. I believe we cannot get meaningful reform without the real competition, lower costs, and accountability that a public option can provide. And I'm not alone in this belief. Whether it's on planes, out on the streets here in Chicago, or in the hallway outside of my Senate office, every day I hear from folks in Illinois and across America who want a strong public option."