Local Congressman reacts to House healthcare vote - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/12/09

Local Congressman reacts to House healthcare vote

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Pam Brink Pam Brink

By Brittany Pieper  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -The debate in Washington continues over healthcare reform. Congressman Randy Neugebauer says he's disappointed such a controversial and important bill passed with such a slim margin of only 5 votes, but he's still hopeful Congress can make changes to it.

"This is huge federalization of healthcare in our country where a lot of the healthcare decisions are now going to be made by the government rather than the patient and the doctor," said Neugebauer. One of his biggest problems with the recently passed House healthcare reform bill is the cost. "It also creates huge new taxes, Over 3/4 of a trillion dollars in new taxes. It causes premiums to go up for many of the Americans that already have healthcare today," he said. 

Neugebauer thinks there are ways the private sector can fix current problems with health insurance by "letting associations, chambers of commerce, like the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce who put together their healthcare plan, letting then ban together all across the country and provide buying power for small businesses in our communities."

However, Lubbock Democratic Party Chair, Pam Brink, believes this bill will benefit Americans, especially those who have trouble getting insurance because of pre-existing conditions. "There will be an infrastructure of support for people's lives that has been missing for many people for a long time," said Brink. 

She thinks, in time, the plan will become widely accepted. "Medicare has been very, very good for people and there was blow back to medicare back then too," said Brink. 

While the House of Representatives vote was a huge step, the Senate still must vote on their own bill which they could take up as early as next week. Then, the House and Senate must reconcile those bills. If they can't it's back to the drawing board, where Neugebauer hopes they can make changes to the bill.

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