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Democrats hail court ruling on affirmative action

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Congressional Democrats praised Saturday the U.S. Supreme Court's decision upholding affirmative action, and called for renewed efforts to help children and older Americans.

Rep. Harold Ford of Tennessee, in the Democrats' weekly radio address, said the court decision upholding the University of Michigan's use of race in making admissions decisions "reaffirmed our commitment to diversity and progress."

To further spread educational opportunities, Ford called for fully funding the law to overhaul public schools "so when school starts back in the fall, principals, teachers, and parents can do their jobs better."

He also criticized a bill that cleared the Republican-led House Friday to cover prescription drug costs under Medicare because he said "it will privatize Medicare before the end of the decade."

The Democrats' plan, he said, "would not force seniors to leave Medicare to get prescription drug coverage."

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