DFL 7th District congressman Collin Peterson says he will vote no on the health care bill that is scheduled for a weekend vote in the U.S. House. Peterson says the bill doesn't do enough to control health care costs, and that it continues unfair Medicare reimbursements that penalize Minnesota doctors and hospitals. Peterson says his biggest concern is the federal budget:
"We've got over a $70 trillion unfunded liablity in this over the next 75 years and we're just going to make it worse. And I don't see how that's sustainable. The govenment's running a $1.5 trillion deficit the way it is. So that's my big problem with this."
Peterson says he likes some elements of the Senate health care bill better than the House bill. He said he hopes he can support a bill if and when the House and Senate compromise.
Peterson also said he is waiting to see President Obama's Afghanistan war strategy before he makes a decision on troop increase. He said he's skeptical, however, of just sending in more troops without a good idea of what is needed in the region:
"At the end of the day, if anybody thinks you're going to have any democracy in Afghanistan anytime soon is kidding themselves. For a lot less money, you could enlist the support of these warlords by just basically giving them to work with them in their areas. In my opinion, they would take care of the Taliban. If it's in the context of supporting some kind of a system like that then I think more troops are something I would consider. Bit if you're not going to have a realistic understanding of how things are in Afghanistan and that the fact that you have to make a deal with these tribal leaders and warlords if you're get this under control. If you don't understand that, then I think it's a misguided mission to put troops in there."
Peterson also said he's inclined to run for reelection but won't make a final decision until January or February.
You can listen to the entire interview here:
As a citizen of the 7th district, I hope Rep. Peterson does not seek re-election. Then perhaps we can get a Democrat elected who actually supports the Democratic platform. If he does run, he's lost my vote.
with democrats like this maybe the 7th district needs a real republican. I guess the agribusiness lobby does not want health care reform. Is there any kind of progressive possibility in Minnesota to challenge him?