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Mass. Weighs In On National Health Overhaul

The House on Sunday passed a bill that would extend health care coverage to more than 30 million Americans. In Massachusetts — the state that already has the lowest rate of uninsured residents in the country because of its own health care coverage legislation — politicians and advocates across the ideological landscape have weighed in on the national overhaul.

Reps. John Tierney, left, and Michael Capuano, right, voted for the health care overhaul in the House on Sunday.  Rep. Stephen Lynch, center, voted against the bill. (AP)
Reps. John Tierney, left, and Michael Capuano, right, voted for the health care overhaul in the House on Sunday. Rep. Stephen Lynch, center, voted against the bill. (AP)

Rep. John Tierney, on the House floor, before voting for the overhaul

Small business employers and employees will be better able to afford health care and will pay less in administrative costs, while having the choices large companies and federal employees have now.

Rep. Michael Capuano, who earlier considered voting against the Senate bill

I can't lie to anybody and tell anybody this is a perfect bill. This is not what any individual would have wanted. But that's the legislative process; you have to make compromises. But I just don't see how anyone can look at this bill and think overall it's anything but good for the commonwealth.

Rep. Stephen Lynch, who voted against the overhaul

We have loaded 32 million people onto the bus and now we're driving 80 miles an hour and we're gonna try to fix it. And I just thought it made sense to try to fix the system rather than just add people to the broken system.

Rep. Ed Markey, on the House floor, before voting for the overhaul

GOP: Grandstand. Oppose. And Postpone. Today we have choice between change and more of the same, between hope and nope.

Sen. Scott Brown

(Sunday's) vote shows that leaders in Washington continue to ignore the will of the people. Americans have sent a message to Washington for the past year, including with my election, that they are opposed to this multi-trillion dollar health care bill that will raise taxes, increase premiums, cut Medicare and leave future generations with a mountain of debt.

Sen. John Kerry

So I believe in the end we have to do what we think is best for the country. The country has to measure it as they will, and I'm prepared to defend this bill as good for our state and good for the country, and I'll defend it anywhere at any time.

Gov. Deval Patrick

I commend President Obama and members of Congress for passing meaningful health care reform. This legislation is good for America and good for Massachusetts. Today's vote is also a fitting tribute to Sen. Kennedy's life's work. He understood better than anyone that access to care is a right, not a privilege.

Christen Varley, president of the Greater Boston Tea Party

What they've done — with a seven-vote majority — is fundamentally alter the role between government and governed. We have been crusading for a year now to change that role as well to limit government's interference in our lives, and they've taken a huge leap in the opposite direction.

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This program aired on March 22, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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