Statement of Susan Sherry, Deputy Director of Community Catalyst, regarding the
Bipartisan Health Care Summit

(BOSTON, MA) – “We applaud President Obama’s leadership in convening both parties for a dialogue on health care to move the process forward and bring the country closer to achieving comprehensive health reform.

“The Health Care Summit was an effort to have a meaningful, constructive discussion and find common ground among the two parties.  While we heard some areas of agreement, one of the most useful aspects of the summit was the way in which it clarified differences. The two most important differences concern oversight of the insurance industry and securing affordable coverage for those who don’t have it now. The President and Congressional Democrats remain committed to eliminating pre-existing condition exclusions, instituting tough new insurance regulation and providing coverage for the uninsured, while Republicans want to loosen restrictions on insurance companies and have no ideas that would make a significant dent in the number of uninsured.

“Now that both sides have had an opportunity to speak and air their differences, the choice is clear. Either we adopt a plan that reins in insurance excesses, expands coverage and makes it affordable for workers and businesses, and reduces costs. Or we keep the status quo.

“Today, we heard the politicians in Washington speak and they had a lot to say. Now it’s time that they hear what the American people have been trying to tell them: the status quo is unacceptable. Speaker Pelosi said in her opening remarks that today’s discussion wasn’t about process or policymakers in Washington but rather  real families sitting around the kitchen table who are worried about their health security. And those families are worried for a good reason: the current health care system isn’t working for them.

“Words are great, but we need action. We need comprehensive health reform, and we need it now. It’s time for Congress to finish the job and get a bill to the President.”

About Community Catalyst
Community Catalyst is a national non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to quality affordable health care for all.  Since 1997, Community Catalyst has been working to build the consumer and community leadership required to transform the American health system.  With the belief that this transformation will happen when consumers are fully engaged and have an organized voice, Community Catalyst works in partnership with national, state and local consumer organizations, policymakers, and foundations, providing leadership and support to change the health care system so it serves everyone – especially vulnerable members of society.  For more information, visit