Unique, Non-Partisan Reading of Health Care Bills Brings Critical Issue Directly into American Homes
(Sept. 30, 2009) A group of volunteer voice actors from across the country and around the world has now recorded the Senate version of health care reform legislation making its way through Congress. The recording, available at www.hearthebill.org, follows a successful recording of the House version that is fast approaching a million hits online.
The recordings are keeping pace with changes in Congress, and have now made it possible for voters to hear the Senate bill proposed by U.S. Senator Baucus (D-Montana). All modifications to the bill, including those adopted in the September 22 hearing by the Finance Committee, are updated on the site, as will subsequent changes in both the Senate and House versions.
The audio is free online at the site created last month as a public service for the visually impaired and those who prefer audio to text, such as the millions of people who listen to audio books.
"We have made a firm commitment to track any health care reform legislation proposals and get them out there on audio as quickly as possible," said Kathleen Keesling of Colorado, who along with Diane Havens of New Jersey, created the site. "It's important that as the country debates this issue that everyone - from those who are visually impaired to those who want to learn more while driving in their cars or folding their laundry - have the option to learn what's in these bills."
The site is a nonpartisan, educational project. The 84 volunteer voice actors come from all across the country, and some from Canada, the UK and Australia. They come with diverse political viewpoints - but also with a commitment no to share those viewpoints on the site.
"There has been a lot of back-and-forth on this issue. While each of the voice actors who have participated have their own opinion, our goal is to provide information so people can make up their own minds based on what's actually in the legislation," Havens said. "We want to provide a starting point for a truly informed discourse on one of the most important issues of our time."