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On Wednesday, USTR Ron Kirk highlighted the connection between health care reform and international competitiveness in an address to District Export Council members. DEC members have dedicated themselves to supporting exports from their local communities; health care reform could be a critical boost to many of the small businesses that come to Council members for advice.
An excerpt of Ambassador Kirk's remarks on health care:
"In almost every community in America, big or small, rural or urban, a homegrown company is supporting jobs and families by engaging in international commerce.
You know that because you work with many of those companies in your own communities. You also know that economic worries at home can impede their ability to do business around the world. And right now, many Americans have no bigger economic worry than health care. That's why, to ensure that America's companies and workers can truly take advantage of all of trade opportunities, we must reform America's health insurance system. That is a trade priority. American businesses and workers can't take full advantage of job-creating trade opportunities as long as our health care system drains their resources.
The bottom line is: no family should lose their home and no business should go broke because someone gets sick in America. As President Obama has said, this isn't a Democratic issue or a Republican issue - it's a moral issue. The time for bickering is over. Now it's time to act.
President Obama's health insurance reform plan addresses three simple goals: If you have health insurance, it will give you more security and stability. If you don't have insurance it will give you quality, affordable options. And it will lower the cost of health care for our families, our businesses, and our government. To find out more about President Obama's plan for health care reform, I encourage you to visit healthreform.gov."