Former Governor Lowell Weicker was at the UConn Law School today to speak about health care reform. WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports.
Weicker made his way to UConn just as Governor Jodi Rell and the state legislature were in the final hours of a legislative session with a still unresolved budget.
"Somebody asked me, when I came on campus, wouldn't you like to be governor....Helloooo????"
Weicker -- who served as governor, served three terms in the U.S. senate, and is now chairman of the board of the Trust for America's Health -- then began his comments on national health care reform.
"The last several months of public discourse have marked a low point as to how we treat and view each others as Americans. The debate has been just as bad on the floor of the house and the senate as it has on the streets of America."
When Weicker got to the heart of his talk, he said that preventing illness is cheaper than treating it and it's better for patients. And now that the nation has a new health care law, Weicker says it's time to make it better.
"The time has come now to move on past all the rhetoric and do the right thing. Repealing healthcare it isn't going to happen. I don't care who's in power. To be in pain or in fear of death with nowhere to go is not something that I would wish on anyone."
As he closed, Weicker said that good public health policy comes with a cost, and that Americans want greatness, but they don't have the political will to pay for it. And, speaking of political will, he had a few words after his speech was over for leaders at the state capitol, as this year's legislative session wound to a close with an apparent one-year budget fix.
"The time has come to pay the bill here in the Sate of Connecticut and you can't kick it down the road. I pray for a little steel up the spine. This is the moment that they're elected for."
Because, Weicker said, a solution that lasts just 365 days isn't much of a solution at all.
For WNPR, I'm Jeff Cohen.
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