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Gov. Gregoire meets with President Obama on health care reform

For Immediate Release: June 24, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Gov. Chris Gregoire met with President Obama and other governors today in Washington, D.C., to exchange ideas on national health care reform.

“The message I delivered was we need health care reform, and we need it now,” Gregoire said. “We can’t let the rising cost of health care continue to bankrupt our families, businesses and government. We have to take steps to make health care more affordable, and enhance the quality of care our families are receiving.”

Gregoire joined Govs. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich., Mike Rounds, R-S.D., Jim Doyle, D-Wis. and Jim Douglas, R-Vt. to voice support for crucial changes to the nation’s health care system. The group first met with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett. The governors then met with President Obama and Vice President Biden to deliver reports from health care forums convened across the country in April. Gregoire summarized discussions from her meetings with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and highlighted reforms launched in Washington that have caught national attention.

“We have seen success in reforming health care on the state level. But this is an issue that cries out for a national solution,” Gregoire said. “We are a country living in fear. Many families – even those with health insurance – are fearful of a painful diagnosis, knowing that even with insurance, their savings might be depleted in order to receive quality care.”

Gregoire also met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to discuss Washington state’s priorities for health care reform.

Following the discussion, Obama thanked the five participating governors.

“All of them represent states that have done some terrific work, wonderful experiments, and have seen successes,” Obama said. “But all of these governors also expressed to me, and I think heard from their constituencies, deep concerns about what the future holds. I look forward to working with them to get this done for the American people and for the people of their respective states in the weeks to come.”

To read Obama’s full remarks, visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-after-meeting-with-Governors-Granholm-Douglas-Doyle-Rounds-and-Gregoire-to-discuss-health-care/

Tonight, Obama will hold a prime time, televised “town hall” to discuss health reform and take questions.