by Winston Chua
ALHAMBRA –Congressman Adam Schiff and OFA (Organizing for America) Tuesday night in theAlhambra Public Library hosted a town hall health insurance reform forum.Health care reform is a hotly contested issue nationwide. All the way fromFlorida to down here in Alhambra, people are voicing their opinions.
“Ourcurrent level of spending is unsustainable and will eventually bankrupt thecountry if it’s not fixed,” said Congressman Adam Schiff. “Asuccessful reform package should provide the kind of stability where you willalways have coverage, even if your job doesn’t provide it.”
Schiff hassaid he wants coverage for those with pre-existing conditions and healthinsurance premiums that do not discriminate based on one’s gender.
“Asuccessful reform should also ensure that the costs of health care don’tthreaten your family’s finances, that your doctor is paid for making you welland not ordering unnecessary tests,” Schiff said. “And that yourhealth-care premiums are spent on actual care, not paying for piles ofpaperwork and red tape.”
But not everyone is for health carereform, or not in the way it is currently proposed. Jonathan Wilson, founder ofthe Pasadena Patriots, an organization that started spontaneously in protestingtax increases, said that it gives too much power to the federal government.Moreover, he feels that giving this power will be hard to wrestle back once itis given.
Although admitting that health careneeds to be fixed, he feels that national security and the economy are biggerpriorities for the nation. As per health care, Wilson favors free marketsolutions and health savings accounts that can be used to offset the high priceof health care.
Michael Fell, leader of theWestside Tea Party Patriots, says the current health care proposal has its ownproblems.
“The current bill is toointrusive, it exerts too much control over private lives. My solution is tort reform.”
Fell said that tort reform wouldlimit the currently exorbitant amount of money doctors now have to pay formedical malpractice insurance and would also limit what he feels are theridiculous amounts of tests doctors need to perform in case a medical lawsuitfrom a patient does arise.
“Doctors have to practicedefensive medicine that drives up the cost of health care,” Fell said. Hesaid that tort reform is not being addressed by the Democrats because theDemocrats are all lawyers and funded by the bar association. Instead Fellproposes stimulating health care competition across state lines and driving thecost of health care down.
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