Area lawmakers react to health care vote
Area representatives in Congress issued statements overnight after the U.S. House adopted the Senate version of federal health care legislation. Here's a look at what they had to say:
Rep. Dennis Moore, D-3rd District:
“The House has taken extraordinary action tonight to deliver the reforms Americans have asked for – eliminating the denial of coverage because of pre-existing conditions, an end to lifetime caps for health care, and lower health care costs for our families – so that we may finally take aggressive steps in reducing our national deficit by $148 billion over the next ten years. Tonight, we have passed a bill that is on par with Medicare and Social Security in securing the future economic prosperity of our country and the American people. Tonight, we have made good on the promise of making America a better place for all who call it home. This is the most important vote I have ever cast, and I am honored to stand with my House colleagues as a part of the Congress that finally passed landmark health care reform for all American families.”
Rep. Lynn Jenkins, D-2nd District:
“Over the past year, I have worked on and supported a health care reform plan that would bring down costs for families, address the issue of pre-existing conditions and improve availability of care without destroying what works in our current system.
“Today, the Democrat Majority took an entirely different approach and one I did not support. A plan that increases taxes by nearly $570 billion, a plan that cuts Medicare by more than $520 billion, a plan that increases premium costs for many Kansas families by more than $2,100 annually, and a plan that, according to the national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, is ‘betraying America’s veterans.’
“The American people want healthcare reform, but they do not want this bill.
“Kansans, and all Americans don’t deserve this. They deserve much better.”
Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.
“Although the majority of Americans and Kansans oppose this bill, Democrat leadership is set on ramming it through the Congress despite its critical faults including leaving millions still uninsured, costing the nation $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years, raising taxes in a tough economy, cutting Medicare, and rationing care.
“The fight now returns to the Senate where I will make every effort to amend the bill to achieve real reform and not compound the deficit with programs that won’t even begin for four more years. We can and should do better in a bipartisan and incremental manner for meaningful, reasonable reform that lowers health care costs for families across the country.”
Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., announced his support a proposed constitutional amendment in Kansas that would opt the state out of a federalized health care system:
"With the U.S. House adoption of a federal government health care plan, we must explore all avenues to preserve health care freedom. There are many problems within our country's health care system that need to be addressed. Our goal should be to provide meaningful reform that lowers the cost and improves access to health care. However, the legislation before Congress does not take our country down that path.
"It is important the state of Kansas protects its citizens from the federal government's abuse of its constitutional authority. If approved by Kansas voters, a constitutional amendment establishes a foundation for legal challenges to any health care mandate passed by Congress and signed into law by the President."