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Format: 04/21/2014
Format: 04/21/2014


Local officials have divided views on health care reform vote

Monday, March 29th, 2010

by Heidi Dezayas

Local congressmen have opposing positions on health care reform, while health care providers stand somewhere in the middle.

On Sunday, by a 219-212 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Senate health care bill H.R. 3590, dubbed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle (D-14) voted in favor of the bill, while Rep. Tim Murphy (R-18) opposed. President Barack Obama signed the comprehensive health care overhaul legislation into law Tuesday.

The bill includes the expansion of health insurance coverage for those who currently are uninsured, making it harder for insurance companies to turn down people with pre-existing conditions and allowing children to stay on their parents' insurance plan until age 26.

Murphy said this bill isn't the way to improve health care for Americans.

"While the feedback I received from my constituency showed overwhelming opposition to this legislation, I did not cast my 'No' vote lightly," Murphy said in a statement.

"It is a personal and professional disappointment for me because I am here to find solutions to reform the health care system. Unfortunately, this bill is not the solution and I know we can do better."

Doyle said he supported the bill because many of his constituents will benefit from it.

"This was a historic vote (on Sunday)," he said. "Once in your career you have the opportunity to do some- thing that affects millions of people in a positive way."

According to an analysis performed by the Committee on Energy and Commerce, the health care reform bill will improve coverage for 335,000 residents with health insurance and extend coverage to 23,000 uninsured residents in the 14th district.

"I think a lot of people wouldn't know that so many friends and neighbors don't have health insurance," he said. "A lot of times, people do have insurance, and they're working, but they're still losing their homes because they hit capacity because they are seriously ill.

"Why should anyone lose their home because they can't pay their medical bill?"

Doyle said health care reform will help small businesses be able to afford insurance for employees, as well as aiding senior citizens to close the "doughnut hole"-- the gap between the difference of the initial Medicare coverage limit and coverage threshold.

"This bill will be popular when people discover all the positives," he said. "History will treat this kindly and I'm proud to have been on the right side when the vote was taken."

Dan Laurent, spokesman for the Western Pennsylvania Allegheny Health System, which includes West Penn Hospital-Forbes Campus in Monroeville, said if the health care reform bill is implemented correctly, it would be beneficial to patients and future patients.

"Western Pennsylvania Allegheny Health System supports the goal of providing basic, affordable health care insurance to all Americans," Laurent said. "It is our sincerest hope that the final version of this historic health care reform bill includes adequate funding for hospitals

To read more, visit the Monroeville Times Express website.

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