[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/07/27/health.care.house/art.hoyer.pelosi.gi.jpg" caption="Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, left, thinks the U.S. cannot afford to fail on health care."]
Special to CNN
History shows that the chance to reform the American health care system is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. So reform is absolutely worth the time it takes to get it right.
That's why Democrats are subjecting their plan to bring affordable health care to all Americans to intense scrutiny, and that's why we're going home to hear from our constituents, adding to the more than 550 health care town hall meetings and public events that have already taken place this year.
But there is also a distinct urgency to our work - an urgency fired by an understanding that the most disastrous health plan is a simple extension of the status quo.
If reform splutters, we'll be left with a broken, unsustainable system, with health costs set to double over the next 10 years, and millions of more Americans projected to lose their coverage. As rising costs and rapidly-consolidating insurance giants strip coverage from more middle-class families, the costs of inaction will mount every year.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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