U.S. mayors laud healthcare reform move

July 15, 2009 at 8:50 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 15 (UPI) -- The head of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Wednesday applauded efforts by Congress and the Obama administration to reform healthcare.

Tom Cochran, executive director and chief executive officer of the national mayors' organization, called the efforts to bring healthcare coverage to all Americans a bold step.

"Working families are struggling during these difficult economic times because they are not able to afford health insurance and, for many, losing a job means losing their benefits," Cochran said in a release. "The recent legislation approved by the Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) Committee and the House bill introduced yesterday are major steps toward offering Americans quality, affordable healthcare, changing the way of how care is administered in this country."

The mayors adopted comprehensive healthcare reform principles outlined by Obama as a policy position at their 77th annual meeting in Providence, R.I.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who is chairman of the conference's task force on healthcare reform, said he supports the inclusion of a public option for health coverage.

"The only way to achieve true reform is by driving down the cost of healthcare and developing a public option that competes with private insurance," Newsom said, noting it has worked in his city.

Cochran added the "strong focus on public health, prevention and wellness in both bills is a good sign that healthcare reform is moving in the right direction."

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is a non-partisan organization of mayors from 1,139 cities with populations of 30,000 or more.

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