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Skelton announces intent to vote against House health reform proposals
Skelton announces intent to vote against House health reform proposals

Congressman Ike Skelton
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 16, 2009) — Today, Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) outlined his concerns about the health insurance reform proposals currently before the U.S. House of Representatives.

“I have reviewed the bills pending in Congress and have visited with Fourth District residents about this very important issue. While most people seem to agree that the health insurance system needs to be repaired and that health insurance companies should be more responsible, a great deal of skepticism remains in rural Missouri about the approach taken by House committees to reform America’s health system. As in medicine, the first rule of health care reform needs to be ‘do no harm,’ and I am not convinced any of the proposals represent the best policy choice for the American people.

“I oppose the current House proposals and will vote against them unless they are vastly improved.

“First, health insurance reform must not include a ‘public option.’ While access to health insurance ought to be expanded to reduce costs for everyone, the public option could have the unintended consequence of forcing private health insurance providers out of business.

“Second, health insurance reform must reduce costs for those who are already insured and for small businesses. Middle class families are already struggling to make ends meet during this economic downturn. Now is not the time for the government to impose additional burdens on them. The bill must be deficit-neutral or reduce the deficit. And, we cannot pay for health insurance reform by taxing small businesses that generate job growth in the Fourth District.

“Third, health insurance reform cannot ration care for seniors and must ensure veterans and military retirees are treated fairly.

“Fourth, as a pro-life Member of Congress, I cannot support a measure that allows for federal funding for abortion services.

“Fifth, health insurance reform must provide fair and adequate reimbursement to rural health care providers.

“These areas are very important to me, and as I have visited with folks in Missouri, it is apparent that many Show-Me residents share these concerns. Unless the bills in the House are radically altered, they will not receive my support. I hope Fourth District residents will continue to contact me as this debate moves forward,” said Skelton.

Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) serves as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Congressman Skelton’s website is at www.house.gov/skelton.

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