(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray issued the following statement on the Senate vote to begin debate on the health insurance reform bill. The motion to proceed to debate passed the Senate today by a vote of 60-39.

“The successful vote tonight took our country one step closer to finally reforming our broken health care system and at long last helping millions of families and small business owners get the coverage they need at a price they can afford.

“As we begin debating this bill on the floor of the Senate, I continue to call on my colleagues across the aisle to rise above partisanship and work with us to provide families across the country with stable, affordable health insurance coverage.

“Our health reform bill will lower costs for families and small business owners. It will ensure that no one will be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition or go bankrupt if they get sick.  And it finally makes insurers compete for the business of the American people.

“For months, as I have worked on this bill, I have fought to ensure that the needs and priorities of Washington state’s families and businesses are preserved.  I will continue to tell the stories of Washington state businesses and families as we work to pass a bill that makes our nation and economy healthier and stronger.”