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PhRMA: Bill 'a step' toward care for all

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the White House after the U.S. House of Representatives passed healthcare reform legislation, March 21, 2009. UPI/Alex Wong/Pool
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the White House after the U.S. House of Representatives passed healthcare reform legislation, March 21, 2009. UPI/Alex Wong/Pool | License Photo

WASHINGTON, March 22 (UPI) -- The main lobbying group for the U.S. pharmaceutical industry called the healthcare reform bill enacted by Congress "a step" toward coverage for all Americans.

In a statement issued following Sunday's House vote approving the legislation -- and an accompanying bill to be sent to the Senate to change some provisions of the main bill -- the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America said comprehensive healthcare reform will benefit healthcare consumers. PhRMA expressed support for the House vote, even though it said it still has concerns about some provisions of the bill.

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"But throughout this long process, we have been guided by a belief that all Americans should have access to high-quality, affordable health care coverage and services," the statement said. "This legislation, while not perfect, is a step in that direction."

Andrew Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, said in a statement congressional passage of the legislation was a victory for healthcare consumers.

"The insurance industry thought Congress would answer to them," Stern said. "But today, Congress stood up for the people."

The Concord Coalition, a non-partisan organization that advocates for responsible fiscal policy, said passage of reform legislation means it will be "more important than ever" to control medical costs.

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"As The Concord Coalition has repeatedly pointed out, expanding coverage without curbing costs is a recipe for fiscal disaster," the organization said in a news release.

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