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American Corn Growers leader commends Senate action on health care reform

Keith Dittrich, chairman of the board of the American Corn Growers Association, commended Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, for his tenacity and strong guidance in advancing "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (H.R. 3590), the pending health care reform legislation, to a decisive and affirmative vote in the U.S. Senate on the day before Christmas.

"We can think of no better holiday gift to agriculture and its children at this time than a commitment from our government to do what our Founding Fathers designed this democracy to do; that is protect the lives of the citizens of our nation," proclaimed Dittrich. "This primary goal of our nation is what this health care reform legislation has set out to achieve against powerful forces that continue to resist change. We can only hope that in the end our citizens' voices will be heard and 'truth' will win the day."

"Certainly health care is of huge concern to farmers and we believe that the package passed by the Senate will be good for those who earn their living from agriculture," added Dittrich. "In the future, health insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to people with preexisting conditions or gender, nor place lifetime or annual limits on coverage. This will protect valuable and long held farm assets, allowing farmers to carry on their operations through the generations."

Dittrich's remarks also reflect ACGA's standing policy from their annual business meeting held recently in Sioux City, Iowa, where the Board of Directors passed a resolution supporting national health care reform, including a public option. ACGA's resolution on the pending health care legislation states:

ACGA believes that it is of critical importance that Congress pass meaningful national health care reform in 2009. Such legislation should include a public option to provide real competition in the health insurance industry. The nation's farmers and the United States as a whole can no longer avoid this issue from either a moral or international competitiveness perspective.

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