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Cochran: Reform needs ‘close scrutiny’

 

Walt and Lee Ann Starr talk with Sen. Thad Cochran after Tuesday's Rotary meeting.

Walt and Lee Ann Starr talk with Sen. Thad Cochran after Tuesday's Rotary meeting. Photo by: Birney Imes

 

Neal Wagner

 

 

A recent hotly debated national health care program could lead to an overabundance of government involvement in the medical industry, a longtime U.S. Senator told the Columbus Rotary Club Tuesday. 

 


If passed, the health care bill may lead to "too much" federal involvement in the nation''s private medical industry, according to Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss. 

 


"If we create a government-run system, we may have too much government involvement in hospital administration and the medical industry," Cochran said. "We need more, not fewer, health care options. I think we need to put the system under very close scrutiny." 

 


Debates over the proposed government-funded health care system recently have been sparking heated debates in the U.S. House of Representatives and at town hall-style meetings across the nation. 

 


Because the debate next will move to the U.S. Senate, Cochran said the government agency will work to ensure the medical plan is in the "best interest" of the nation''s citizens. 

 


"I can assure you that if the plan is not in the national interest, Congress will not let it be implemented," Cochran explained. "It''s the Senate''s turn to review it next, so we will look at it with great scrutiny. 

 


"We are not a one-party ruled country. Nobody is endowed with the powers of a king in this country," Cochran added. "If this health care bill does not pass the test of democracy, it will not go into effect." 

 


After the Senate reviews the health care overhaul plan, Cochran suggested the governing body emerge with a "common sense" approach to modifying the country''s medical coverage. 

 


"We need to take a common sense approach that will fit the country''s economic hardships," Cochran said. "People are worried about the ever-increasing costs of health care, and they are worried they won''t have the benefit of insurance protection with a new system." 

 


Although many state and national citizens have been criticizing the health care debates and the federal government, Cochran urged those at Tuesday''s meeting to have patience as national officials deal with "tough challenges." 

 


"It''s a time of suspicion and concern for many people right now, and Washington and Congress are easy targets," Cochran said. "All of this is coming during a party transition period in Washington. 

 


"Our president is a young man, and he is still new and is having difficulty articulating his plan for recovery," the senator added. "All of those things coming together are contributing to feelings of uncertainty for many people."

 

 

 

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Reader Comments

Article Comment Janice Pope commented at 9/9/2009 10:10:00 AM:

I agree with you. But will everyone understand "common sense approach?" Remember, if the government can't fund medicare appropriately, how are they going to run health-care? Nothing is free. They will fleece the middle class citizens.

 

Article Comment Lynn Morgan commented at 9/9/2009 1:29:00 PM:

Are any of you paying any attintion to any of us, the voters. I don't want you to take any dicision away from me. DO NOT MAKE THE DECISIONS THAT I NEED TO MAKE. You are intruding.

 

Article Comment Jean Knox commented at 10/7/2009 7:35:00 PM:

For the past month, utilizing the services of an agent, I have been unable to find catastrophic health insurance (with a $20,000 Health Savings Account) for my son who will be 23 in December . This surprised me. He had shoulder surgery this summer. Otherwise he is healthy.

Please keep the public option available so that people can get health insurance. It is not reasonable to expect private companies to accept all clients. They have a profit motive, and that is as it should be in a capitalistic economy.

Much could be done with this public option. Most needed in healthcare are proper diet, exercise, and cessation of smoking - things that individual visits to doctors don't address.

People don't necessarily need insurance for day-to-day costs. If services are priced on a level with wages earned, people can pay with money for most services. What is unfair is that the uninsured are charged far more. By having the public alternative, the practice of charging more to those without insurance would be less likely to continue. Count the number of insurance agencies there are, and it is clear they operate at a near monopoly. With further examination of fixed costs and variable costs incurred by providers, the public option could provide the data that could help with creative change leading to cost reductions.

One part of the public option that I don't endorse is the elimination of caps for insurance companies, and taxation of those earning more than $250,000. Perhaps there could be a surcharge on all policies for those cases where someone incurs huge expenses.

Thank you for your consideration.


 

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