Over the weekend, while you were out enjoying the fall foliage, your representatives in Congress were working overtime to pass a historic health-care-reform bill. Well, a bare majority of them were, anyway. After some painful compromise (hope you're not planning on having any unplanned pregnancies), peer pressure from one very persuasive fellow, and even some crying, the House of Representatives passed its health-care bill by a 220–215 vote, with only one Republican, frequent GOP defector Anh Cao, voting in the majority. While most of the New York delegation provided their support, five congressmen voted no: Republicans Christopher Lee and Peter King, and Democrats Scott Murphy, Mike McMahon, and Eric Massa. Why'd they do it? They have their reasons:
Christopher Lee: Government Takeover
“Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi’s legislation will not enact meaningful health care reform or lower costs but will instead create a government takeover of our health care system that will lead to higher taxes and debt, lost coverage, poorer quality care and fewer jobs.”
Scott Murphy: High Costs and Taxes
"I have consistently said that any bill that Congress passes must curb costs and keep health care affordable in the long term. During these difficult economic times, an unacceptably high price tag will stress our already overstretched federal budget and place even more burdens on our hard working individuals, families and small businesses. We need to fix the system now, and not put off the hard choices for another generation. Furthermore, I am deeply frustrated by the last minute addition of over $50 billion in taxes on the two largest private employers in the 20th District - medical device manufacturers and paper mills."
Mike McMahon: Costs, Taxes, Old People
"The House bill being debated costs over $1 trillion. It includes a tax increase that is not indexed to inflation. Medicare Advantage, which serves approximately 40% of my seniors on Medicare, would be cut dramatically, leading to significant monthly average premium increases of $130 per person per month.
Eric Massa: Too Piecemeal
"At the highest level, this bill will enshrine in law the monopolistic powers of the private health insurance industry, period. There's really no other way to look at it. I believe the private health insurance industry is part of the problem."
"This bill also, I believe, fails to address the fundamental question before the American people, and that is how do we control the costs of health care. It does not address interstate portability, as Medicare does. It does not address real medical malpractice insurance reform. It does not address the incredible waste and fraud that are currently in the system," he said.
As for Peter King, we're still waiting on word from his office, but on the "Health Care Reform" page of his website, King states:
I will oppose any effort by the Administration which would ration care, lead to a government takeover of healthcare, allow government bureaucrats to stand between patients and their health plans or force people such as union members from their current plans.
Also, over the summer he said that health-care reform was "not a major issue."