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Dems, Supporters Here Hail Health Bill’s Passage- Brooklyn Eagle

By Raanan Geberer
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

BROOKLYN – Democratic officials and supporters here celebrated the passage of H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, although Congressman Michael McMahon (D-Bay Ridge/Staten Island) sounding a dissenting note.

Congressman Ed Towns (D-Western Brooklyn) said, “This monumental legislation makes good on Democrats’ commitment to treat health care as a fundamental human right. In voting for this bill today, Congress took a meaningful step forward towards delivering on America’s promise as a just nation that upholds our peoples’ rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (D-West and Central Brooklyn) said, “For too long, millions of Americans have suffered without access to the medical treatment they need … With this bill, all of that will change. No longer will insurance companies abandon Americans when they most need help.”

But McMahon, who voted against the bill, said, “I believe that we need to reform the healthcare system, reduce spending, cut waste, fraud and abuse and expand coverage for more Americans. Unfortunately the bill that passed the United States House does not do that. The cuts to Medicare will affect seniors in my district, the cuts to the Disproportionate Share Hospitals (DSH) will make it harder for hospitals to service Staten Island and Brooklyn.”

Letters received by the Brooklyn Daily Eagle overwhelmingly supported the bill. For example, Candace Carponter, an attorney who has represented Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, wrote, “New York has reason to be proud — all but one [McMahon] of the Congressional delegation from New York City voted in favor of Health Care reform … As a small business owner, I struggle to continue to cover my employees, but now that my husband has lost his job with a large employer, I have to choose between insuring my family and insuring my staff.”

Cynthia Monares of Windsor Terrace said, “I have been following the healthcare debate closely, and I wholeheartedly support the H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act … As a graduate student, I am concerned about my future, specifically what will happen after I graduate next spring in May 2010. I am fully aware that finding a job will be tough in this economy, so more than ever, I am worried I will not have health insurance.”

Pieter Vanhove of Clinton Hill said, “A newly immigrated Brooklynite from Belgium, I stood by and watched: I could merely feel a deep sense of respect and awe as I saw this great American democracy in action. [Brooklyn Congresswoman] Yvette Clarke, like those who put her behind that voting button, showed true bravery and courage as she lived up to that most imminent of values at the dawn of this new century: responsibility.”

Brighton Beach resident Patricia Matthews said, “This is a thank you note to [Brooklyn-Queens Congressman] Anthony Weiner and all those in the house who support President Obama for making this history possible for all to have health care. Yes we can has now turned to yes we did it.”

And Annalisa Loeffler of Boerum Hill said, “This weekend’s vote was a step further toward restoring my hope that America can once again become a democracy of the people, by the people and for the people — and not one of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations.”

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