After months of debate, the fate of health insurance reform isnearing a crucial phase. The president wants Congress to vote on areform package within 10 days. Rep. Tom Petri (R-6th District) saidthe current proposal is too much.
"Let's not over turn everything we have that's good about theAmerican health care system and hope we get something better,"Petri said.
Here's the current approach being taken in Congress: the Housewould have to pass the bill the Senate passed back in December. Butmany House democrats don't like parts of the Senate bill. So theSenate and the House would then approve a second bill to makechanges to the first one. Sound confusing? It is. And there's noguarantee a second bill will be passed. This means if the Housepasses the Senate bill, it could become law if the president signsit.
We asked the congressmen from Northeast Wisconsin about votingon the Senate bill.
"I would not vote for that," Petri said.
"Let me put it this way: you're asking whether or not I trustthe United States Senate, where they came up with a deal forNebraska that the other states didn't get; where Louisiana wouldget a special deal. No, I don't trust the U.S. Senate," said Rep.Steve Kagen (D-8th District). "So I think I'd like to have a voteon something very meaningful."
Kagen said the health care bill should be split up into smallerbills.
"I have made the case to the speaker and also to the White Housethat we should take small pieces, small bites," Kagen said. "In thepractice of medicine, I can't give a child a big pill. What do wedo? We cut it up into pieces. Let's find things we can agreeon."
Finding things both sides agree on may be easier said thandone.
Meanwhile Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Michigan) said he's optimisticabout resolving a dispute over abortion in the health care bills.Stupak and several other Democrats say the Senate bill would allowfederal dollars to subsidize abortion. He wants to put stifferrestrictions in the bill.
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