Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton)said Saturday that he will join other Democrats in voting on the $940 billion health care bill when it comes before the House of Representatives today.
In a message to constituents explaining his decision to vote for the measure, McNerney said:
"Since the start of this journey, I've fought strongly for real health care reform. We're on the brink of a historic vote. Now is the time for real reform. Now is the time to stand together for change."
McNerney, who usually comes home to Pleasanton Friday nights after Congress breaks for the weekend, is staying in Washington, D.C. to vote on the bill. By staying there, he also missed a group of demonstrators who protested in front of his Pleasanton office across from the Stoneridge Shopping Center Friday.
"All along, I've stood up for strong reform," McNerney said. "I've fought for changes that will make care more affordable for American families and crack down on insurance company abuses such as unfairly raising premiums and denying coverage for preexisting conditions like diabetes and asthma."
His statement continued:
"This package tackles our most pressing health care challenges and is a critical first step. It will slow out of control health care costs and fight back against insurance company abuses.
"Throughout this process, I've asked you to share your stories with me. I've heard from small business owners who are struggling to offer quality insurance to their employees, seniors who can't afford prescription drugs on a fixed income, and families who have lost nearly everything after a major medical emergency. No American family should be forced into the unthinkable choice between health care for their children or making ends meet.
"Health care reform is critical to our country's prosperity. I've taken the time to make sure that this bill will make health care more affordable and lower costs while keeping the best parts of our American system in place."