Senator Udall hosts weekly radio press call

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Udall, D-NM, today talked with radio reporters from around the state about health care reform and his push to include reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Services Act as part of the larger health care overhaul. He also gave an update on REAL ID, reassuring New Mexicans that they will not need a passport to travel domestically at the first of the year. To listen to the audio, click here.

Below is a time key of Senator Udall’s remarks:

00:00 – Udall opens the conversation with remarks about his push to include reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act as part of overall health care reform and commented on Senate Democrats’ meeting yesterday with President Obama. He also gave an update on REAL ID, saying that he had received assurances from the Department of Homeland Security that New Mexicans will be able to travel domestically without a passport come the first of the year.

03:44 – Says we need to continue moving forward with health care reform.

05:29 – Talks about how the Senate must pass a health care bill that keeps insurance companies honest. Expresses disappointment that the public option may not be included in the final bill, but says he remains optimistic that the revised legislation will help reform the system.

07:18 – Explains why using the budget reconciliation process to pass health care reform would not accomplish many necessary reforms.

08:51 – Discusses the benefits of health care reform including help for small businesses, insuring more Americans, closing the “doughnut hole” in prescription drug coverage for seniors and ending gender discrimination in insurance coverage.

10:58 – Talks about why it is important to reauthorize the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, which hasn’t been reauthorized or updated in more than a decade.

13:50 – Says no one bill will fix all of the problems with the U.S. health care system, and discusses measures he would like to see strengthened in the years after initial reform is passed.

16:18 – Expresses confidence the Senate will take action this year on health care reform.