Local Pols Split Over Health Care Bill

Happiness and anger being felt by area Congressmen over public health plan

The Health Care Reform Bill -- also known as the H.R. 3962 -- narrowly passed the U.S. House last Saturday with a vote of 220 to 215.

Among other things, the bill would expand Medicaid to cover 15 million more people and require Americans to buy a health insurance policy.

Congressmen are naturally split over the bill, especially local representatives.

Democrat Patrick Murphy claimed that the bill would “improve the quality of care for hundreds of thousands of Bucks County residents.”

Allison Schwartz also voted for the bill, stating, “this legislation builds on what works, and improves what doesn’t in our health care system.”

Finally, Joe Sestak supported the reform, saying: “Yes, there is a cost to ensuring coverage for everyone, but you are already paying that cost, and we must understand the additional cost of not acting.”

Yet while those in favor of the bill were largely Democrat, the opposition was bipartisan.

Among the Democrats who voted against the bill was New Jersey Rep. John Adler.

“H.R. 3962 does not do enough to make health care affordable for middle class families and small businesses,” said Adler. “We must do more to ease health care costs for hard-working American families.”

Republican Pa. Rep. Charles Dent and aspiring Pa. governor Jim Gerlach also opposed the reform bill.

“It’s bad for Americans because it won’t reduce health care costs,” said Dent. “It will cause millions of working Americans to lose their current coverage.”

The polarized reaction to the bill is not a good sign for President Obama, who seeks to push a smiliar bill through the Senate so he can sign the resolution into law before the end of 2009. With both Republicans and liberal Democrats dissatisfied, its unlikely that the heated debate over health care will end anytime soon.

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