Quotes on health care reform from legislatorsby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
Minnesota's legislators had the following to say about the health care reform currently moving through Washington.
"I think there's some people that think you could just everybody on Medicare and everything will be fine. The fact of the matter is that would not work and the system would collapse. I do know that under the fee for service under medicare right now, Mayo, as the example, would be penalized for this."
-- Democratic 1st District Rep. Tim Walz, on his concern that health reform will adopt the Medicare payment system.
"I don't see anyway that it does anything but move people out of the insurance that they have now, and I have seen estimates of over 100 million moving out. I think the smallest I have seen, an estimate by an outside group, is 23 million. I think it would move them out of the option they have now and into the government run option."
-- Republican 2nd District Rep. John Kline, on the so-called "public option."
"One of my biggest concerns with Congress, at least in the House, based on the previous results on the economic stimulus bill or the cap and trade bill recently, they literally might do a three or four hundred page amendment at three in the morning again, without letting anybody read the bill before you vote on it. We've seen that hasn't worked with the stimulus and that's now how you craft good legislation."
-- Republican 3rd District Rep. Erik Paulsen, on the speed health reform legislation may go through Congress.
"We heard some of those same arguments when we were moving Minnesota Care forward when I was in the state House. And what we have is a very competitive plan under Minnesota Care, and we put in safeguards to make sure it complemented what was out there in the private market, and it competed with it in a fair and balanced way. And we can do that with the public option that we come up with here at the federal level."
-- Democratic 4th District Rep. Betty McCollum, on the fears that a "public option" may wreck the private insurance market.
"I am not in favor of a tax on benefits. Of course, we do have to pay for this, I favor the fee on people that make over $250,000 a year. I think that would be more than adequate."
-- Democratic 5th District Rep. Keith Ellison, on rival proposals to pay for health care reform.
"A great number of the people who President Obama wants to put under coverage are illegal aliens. And we need to have a debate about whether it's the American taxpayer's responsibility to pay for the free health care for illegal aliens."
-- Republican 6th District Rep. Michele Bachmann, on the uncertainty of who would qualify for coverage under a "public option."
"There's a lot of people that think a public option is a magic bullet. And what's being talked about in the house with the public option is to take the medicare system and add five percent to the medicare reimbursements and that's what the public option is going to be. That is a recipe for disaster."
-- Democratic 7th Dist. Rep. Collin Peterson, on his concern that reform may be modeled on Medicare.
"I've been open to taxing a person's income, anyone that makes over $250,000, as an option to help pay for this bill. It would actually bring the tax structure back to where it was when Clinton was president, if we just focused on some of the upper income people."
-- Democratic U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar on the implications of an income tax for health reform.