KGTB TV: Health Care Vote

Mar 18, 2010
In The News

You’ve heard about it for months, and now the battle over health care reform is down to its final days, so how are our local representatives in Congress going to vote?

Many off the representatives we spoke to agreed that health care changes need to happen, but not all of them were on board with this bill.

Congressman Randy Neugebauer, who serves southwest parts of Texas, will be voting no.

He sent us this statement, "I will be voting ‘no’ on this health care bill. The American people want health care reform, but they don’t want this bill. Limiting Americans’ choices, rationing health care, expanding the deficit and growing the federal government are not the solutions we need to put this country back on track. We can create positive reform in health care by allowing policies to be purchased across state lines, increasing competition and allowing groups and individuals to band together to purchase more affordable coverage."

Congressman Frank Lucas, from Oklahoma will also be voting no.

In a speech from March 16, he said, "Here we stand today with the possibility that a massive, trillion-dollar government takeover of our health care system would actually not be voted on in this chamber. Not only does this violate the spirit of fairness within the rules of the House and the confidence entrusted in us by our constituents, it potentially violates the Constitution. Legislative gymnastics should not be used to pass a bill of this magnitude that will impact the life of every American."

Also voting no, is Congressman Mac Thornberry, who covers the panhandle.

Thornberry said he is a definite "no" on the latest health care bill in the House.

Here is what he said about the process being used by the Democrats to pass the bill and why he is voting against it. "It is just unimaginable to me that that they would try to deem a bill passed instead of voting on it directly. They are trying to avoid the political consequences of what they do. If they try this kind of maneuver it will really damage the trust the American people have in Congress to a much greater degree than it already is."

"It’s 2,700 pages of big government in health care, which is one of the most personal parts of our lives. I can’t vote for this kind of intrusion in our economy or our lives."

Rep. Luján, from New Mexico, is still closely reviewing the legislation, but he is encouraged by today’s report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that found that health insurance reform would reduce the federal deficit by $1.3 trillion over the next 20 years. He is leaning in favor of voting for the legislation.

Democrats unveiled final alterations to a bill – 16 tumultuous months in the making – meant to expand health care to 32 million uninsured, bar the insurance industry from denying coverage on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions, and trim federal deficits by an estimated $138 billion over the next decade.

The bill would affect nearly every American and remake one-sixth of the national economy.

Beginning in 2014, most Americans would be required for the first time to purchase insurance, and face penalties if they refused. Millions of families with incomes up to $88,000 a year would receive government help to defray their costs. Large businesses would face fines if they did not offer good-quality coverage to their workers.

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