Congressman Barrow pushed on measure to reform health care

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SAVANNAH, Ga. -- A citizens group says it will continue pressing U.S. Rep. John Barrow on a measure to reform health care.

On July 21, the Savannah Democrat voted against the bill - supported by President Obama - in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

But Jeanne Seaver, co-founder of National Right of Communities Association, says Barrow might backslide when the full House votes.

He is one of several dozen fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats in the House who have been leery of the measure.

Like him, the association has voiced concerns about the scope and costs of the trillion-dollar-plus plan. The group also opposes a provision calling for optional "end of life" counseling for the terminally ill.

And it wants the legislation to address medical practice lawsuits, which it says drive up health care costs.

"A health care reform bill without tort reform is like a truck without tires." Seaver said. "It's simply not going to function well."

Last week, Barrow met in his Savannah office with Seaver and Sandra Holland, the association's other cofounder.

"The meeting didn't go very well," Seaver said. " ... John said that he will vote for a bill that is 'good enough.' "

"I don't think 'good enough' should be the standard by which you fundamentally change the best health care system in the world."

Seaver and Holland also lamented that Barrow won't hold another town hall meeting in Savannah.

Moreover, they complained that he rejected their petition because some people who signed it don't live in his 12th Congressional District.

"Am I missing something?" Holland asked. "Savannah contains about a quarter of the 12th District's population. How can a representative represent if he won't listen to the people he's supposed to be representing?"

Actually, Barrow aide Jane Brodsky said, she and Seaver are missing several things.

"First of all," Brodsky said, "the bill the House votes on is likely to be a lot different than what that the committee voted on."

Yet to be considered, she said, are versions passed by other House panels and changes likely to be made on the House floor. And the House might have to act on additional changes that could be made later by the Senate, she said.

"The congressman will have to consider what the bill looks like when it comes up for a vote," Brodsky said. "It's a long process."

Concerning what Barrow thinks is "good enough," she cited his recent opinion piece in the Savannah Morning News.

Barrow wrote that the bill fails to control costs and places new burdens on small businesses and people who already pay for their own insurance.

"In the end," he wrote, "reform we can't afford to pay for is reform that can't realistically happen."

He also said the committee voted on the bill without considering scores of pending amendments. Everyone would have benefited from "another month to read the entire bill, understand its ramifications, and make the bill better," he said.

Brodsky said Barrow had a town hall meeting in Savannah as recently as July 1. While it focused on veterans affairs, health care reform also was discussed, she said.

She said he has a series of town hall meetings scheduled for other parts of the district.

"You have to remember that there are 22 counties in the district," Brodsky said.

She said he respects petition signers who live outside the 12th but thinks they should take their concerns to their own congressmen.

Some groups have lobbied Savannah's other congressman, Republican Jack Kingston, on the bill. But because he is a staunch foe of the measure, they have spent less time on Kingston.

In contrast, Barrow has been a magnet for advocates on both sides because he has been perceived as persuadable

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HotFoot
17
Points
HotFoot 08/28/09 - 06:38 am
0
0
Rep. Barrow, I know you face

Rep. Barrow, I know you face a dilemma, but please remember that you're hearing from the squeaky wheels. The majority of the American people, and I daresay the majority of your district, want healthcare reform. Remember the Party that helped you get elected and don't hang your Democratic constituents out to dry.

Georgiajack
0
Points
Georgiajack 08/28/09 - 06:52 am
0
0
HotFoot is exactly correct

HotFoot is exactly correct and thank you for your work to help veterans affairs.

concernednative
28
Points
concernednative 08/28/09 - 07:01 am
0
0
I agree I think Barrow is a

I agree I think Barrow is a pretty smart man. He knows the "squeaky wheels" wouldn't ever vote for him anyway.

southern2
5866
Points
southern2 08/28/09 - 07:07 am
0
0
Fiscally conservative? Didn't

Fiscally conservative? Didn't he vote for the $787 Billion non-stimulus bill that was rushed through Congress without being read? Wasn't he given a pass by Pelosi on Cap and Trade because his vote wasn't needed for passage and allowed him to save face with the folks back home?

overburdened_taxpayer
117
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 08/28/09 - 07:23 am
0
0
The majority want healthcare

The majority want healthcare reform Hotfoot? Not the way it is being presented. Check your polls. Or have you conducted a national poll of your own? I doubt it.

testvet
0
Points
testvet 08/28/09 - 07:59 am
0
0
I don't understand why people

I don't understand why people are demanding "medical liability reform" when the major legal problem from medical issues is bankruptcy. I have excellent healthcare from the VA and my wife from CHAMPVA, and I feel all Americans should have the same level of healthcare that we are provided. In a nation as rich as ours, healthcare should not be a service that leaves families filing bankruptcy, or denied life saving cancer treatments or kept from seeing a doctor because they don't have a few thousand dollars to give to a hospital. We have the best health care if you can afford it, kind of like our justice system, you get what you can afford. Every "free nation" on earth has a "national health plan" like Europe, Great Britain, Canada, even China has free health care, we spend more than any other nation, yet we have people dying every day because they can't afford to go to a hospital, and yes those of us with insurance are paying for the indigent care, either thru higher medical insurance payments or thru property taxes, we are all paying for it one way or another, the question now is are we going to keep doing it the same way as we have or change it? I say change it.

SoonerorLater
0
Points
SoonerorLater 08/28/09 - 08:44 am
0
0
Someone from a "Communities"

Someone from a "Communities" organization, sounds like an ACORN offshoot to me.

mad_max
0
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mad_max 08/28/09 - 10:19 am
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No HotFoot, the majority of

No HotFoot, the majority of the American people DO NOT WANT government controlled healthcare in any way, shape, or form. I do not knwo where you get your "majority" but apparently you do not pay attention to EVERY SINGLE POLL which ALL indicate the MAJORITY do not want government control of healthcare, government "panels" deciding procedures and medicines, single payer, and tax increases and Meidcare cuts to pay for non-working, and those who CHOOSE not to buy insurance. With the number of retirees on Medicare in his district I would suggets to Congressman Barrow that he pay attention. I am a conservative voter but I did vote for Barrow last time, mainly because of his support for veterans. I will not do so again if he votes for a healthcare plan that gives government control of healthcare, raieses taxes and cuts Medicare to pay for the lazy non-working welfare leeches, and allows government "panels" to make healthcare policies.

WhiteboyforJenkins
0
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WhiteboyforJenkins 08/28/09 - 11:14 am
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Okay Overburdened Taxpayer

Okay Overburdened Taxpayer and mad max stop muddying the issue. Hot Foot did not suggest a government take over health care which most Americans are against, but suggested we need to reform our system, which most agree needs to be changed. Only a fool who cannot listen, read, or understand thinks that current measures would lead to a government take over of health care. Yes, a public option should be available; but why not. Government has outsourced everything from grass cutting to military operations to the private sector because it is cheaper; why can't private insurers compete with a government plan?

sjgraci
2
Points
sjgraci 08/28/09 - 11:21 am
0
0
When the polls are worded to

When the polls are worded to correctly state that the Public Option would be a "choice" between it and other coverage like private insurance, VA, Tricare, and Medicare, the VAST MAJORITY of people want it. Word the poll to exclude "choice", and a plurality of people are for and against the public option. Either way, Congressman Barrow would be wise to drop the foolish co-op plan that funnels tax dollars to the insurance industry and vote for strong reform regulations that includes a Public Option.

jack
10
Points
jack 08/28/09 - 11:49 am
0
0
Rep. Barrow, I know you face

Rep. Barrow, I know you face a dilemma, but please remember that you're hearing from the squeaky wheels. The majority of the American people, and I daresay the majority of your district, want healthcare reform. Remember the Party that helped you get elected and don't hang your Democratic constituents out to dry.
Posted by HotFoot on Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:38 AM...Right (for a change)no to HOtFoot, the majority want health care reform but NOT guv'munt run health care as in HR3200. HR 3200 does not provide for tort reform, reduces/rations health care for the elderly (cuts in Medicare), mandates the IRS to provide the health care chief ALL tax information on every American that files an income tax return (in violation of the other law that protects tax return info), grows the guv'munt bureacracy, and will eliminate private health care insurance IF Public Option is passed.

jack
10
Points
jack 08/28/09 - 11:58 am
0
0
When the polls are worded to

When the polls are worded to correctly state that the Public Option would be a "choice" between it and other coverage like private insurance, VA, Tricare, and Medicare, the VAST MAJORITY of people want it. Word the poll to exclude "choice", and a plurality of people are for and against the public option. Either way, Congressman Barrow would be wise to drop the foolish co-op plan that funnels tax dollars to the insurance industry and vote for strong reform regulations that includes a Public Option.
Posted by sjgraci on Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:21 AM....There you go again, blabbering what the DIMs feed you like a good parrot. BimbObama himslef has stated that in 10 to 15 years, the guv'munt "Public Option" would kill private health insurance. It would also force millions who have private insurance now to go to the "Public Option". At a cost of $1T, where do we get the moeny to pay for it-borrow more from China? Do away with "choice" as you would have poll takers do, would do away with one more of our freedoms-to CHOOSE our doctors, hospitals and what care we do or do not want.

jack
10
Points
jack 08/28/09 - 12:02 pm
0
0
You guv'munt dependent types

You guv'munt dependent types ar3 the ones who elected Barrow, just like you elected that clueless, empty suit Marxist [filtered word]in the WH, and you see what you get -NOTING but double the national debt, a worthless porkulus bill, guv'munt payback to the UAW and unions, and nothng more.

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