Boucher and Griffith different takes on healthcare
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The WSLS Channel 10 debate was packed full of budget balancing and Cap and Trade wrangling. The half-hour whizzed by for moderator Jay Warren Thursday evening.
I got a chance to ask them both afterward – How would you vote if the current healthcare bill came up for repeal? What would be your other healthcare option?
Congressman Rick Boucher said he would “reform it” and not repeal it. “We have too many benefits that are already in effect,” said Boucher. Among the benefits he listed – children can stay on their parents insurance until age 26, children cannot be denied insurance due to preexisting conditions, if you get sick insurance companies can’t cancel your policy when you’ve reached the lifetime spending limit. “The American public I think deserves to have those benefits,” said Boucher.
Boucher said, “I am prepared to vote for very substantial reform.” Boucher explained he voted against the bill because “it was not properly structured for my congressional district.” What troubled him most were the Medicare cuts. Another worry for him was for small businesses “you have a transaction that was $600 in value you have to file with the IRS a 1099 form.” The compliance cost of that would exceed whatever savings the government gets out of the bill. He also does not like the limits that are on the flexible healthcare spending accounts or the healthcare savings accounts.
Boucher also wants to allow insurance companies to be able to sell policies across state lines “if they are willing to enter into an agreement where all the consumer protections that apply in the state of the residence of the purchaser remain in effect.” Boucher believes that would substantially reduce the cost.
Griffith before I could finish my sentence said, “I would vote to repeal.” He believes the existing benefits in effect now are forcing insurance companies to withdraw from the market for single purchase plans for children. “They withdrew from the market because they felt like it would be too expensive to cover them,” said Griffith.
He would “start all over” and support, as did Boucher “pooling” of risk groups across state lines. “The more you pool the more you spread out the risk,” said Griffith. He also wanted to find a way to encourage mutual insurance associations whereby the insured would own a piece of it – more clearly he called it “an insurance coop.” When asked won’t it make people angry by taking the just enacted benefits away? Griffith said, “people will get mad no matter what we do.”
Griffith went on to passionately state “my grandchildren will see the 22nd century … we have to decide to start making policies that will keep the United States strong economically well into the 22nd century.” He added, “it may seem like a long-range thing but when you realize that my grandchildren will live to see the 22nd century it’s pretty incredible.”
Posted By Valerie Garner
Categories: Elections, Politics
Tags: congress, democrat, Election 2010, Elections, health, republican