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Skelton explains his vote against House health insurance proposal
Skelton explains his vote against House health insurance proposal

Congressman Ike Skelton
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 7, 2009) — Today, Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) released the following statement concerning H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act:

“This evening, I opposed passage of the health insurance reform legislation that was debated in the House of Representatives. After careful consideration and meetings with health care professionals and Fourth District residents, I decided the legislation did not represent the right balance for rural Missourians.

“I understand the need for reform. Far too often, insurance companies get in between a patient and their doctor by denying coverage for necessary medical procedures, by dropping beneficiaries because they get sick, and by imposing unreasonable premiums on those who need coverage the most. These insurance company tactics are wrong and must be fixed. Republicans and Democrats in Congress agree on this. However, while the legislation on the House floor tonight was a vast improvement over earlier versions, especially as amended to prohibit any federal funding for abortions, I am not convinced that the legislation represented the best policy choice for the American people.

“I am concerned about the impact the legislation could have on rural hospitals and doctors. The proposed reductions to Medicare reimbursement could further squeeze the budgets of rural health care providers.

“I also oppose the creation of a new government run public option and continue to have serious concerns about its potential unintended consequences for Missourians who have private insurance plans they like.

“One solution might be for Congress to address health care reform one issue at a time and to ensure that rural Missourians understand how any new legislation will affect them and their families.

“At the end of the day the American people should be able to look at this bill and say that Congress has done a good job. This legislation did not accomplish that goal,” said Skelton.

H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 220 to 215 on Nov. 7. The U.S. Senate must consider the legislation before it is sent to the President for his signature.

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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