Senator says health care reform an ongoing battle

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Senator says health care reform an ongoing battle

Ashland Times-Gazette – More than 200 Ohioans on Tuesday participated in a tele-town hall with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Lorain, to discuss pending health care reform.

The Mansfield native answered 19 questions directly from callers and also questions submitted online via Twitter and the Web site of ProgressOhio — the host of the event. While no Ashland County residents were identified during the call, about a dozen registered for the event.

Brown expressed his disappointment in the Senate bill, which was fraught with Democratic concessions. However, despite the changes in the Senate's bill from the more liberal version approved by the House, Brown called the bill "a major step forward," an achievement he attributed to the tenacity of activists.

"The fight for health reform never ends. We've got a lot to do still but this is a major, major victory for our country. I really credit activists and progressives around the country for a big part of that," Brown said.

The Senate version of the bill requires insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions, to offer equal rates for men and women and to eliminate arbitrary lifetime caps on benefits. The bill also will provide federal subsidies to families and individuals, will award tax credits to small businesses and will invest money into community health clinics, Brown said.

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