Lawmakers await healthcare reform vote

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - White House officials spent their Columbus Day stunned by an about face from health insurance companies.

"Under the current legislation, costs will actually go up faster than they would under current law," said Mike Tuffin, a representative for America's Health Insurance Plans.

The businesses--thought to be allied with White House proposals--released figures from a study commissioned by health insurance companies.

The findings claim--in ten year's time--families could end up paying $4,000 more for premiums under the Senate's plan.

"If you do market reforms that don't require people to participate, then there's a powerful incentive for people to simply wait until they're sick to purchase coverage.  That drives up costs for all policyholders," explained Robert Zirkelbach, an insurance industry spokesman.

While some politicians and the White house refute the claims, others question the measure.

Democratic Congressman Bobby Bright says the bill in question has its ups and downs.

"It does away with the public option, as it stands right now. However, it does tax small businesses and individuals out there," Bright explained.

Some residents, like 'Tea Party' protestor Dawn Barben, say the legislation raises too many questions.

"There's so much bad. It's hard to concentrate on one thing," said Barben, a Prattville resident.

"If our Founding Fathers could give us a government in 18 pages, they can certainly give us a healthcare bill in less than 1,500 pages."

It's a dash for reform voters--and some lawmakers--want to slow down.

"We're looking at healthcare cost renovation, and we're doing too much, too quick, for most folks out there," Bright explained.

Bright also says he'll vote 'No' for any measure involving a public option, if or when it comes to a vote in the US House.

If this bill passes the Senate Finance Committee, it would go to the full Senate for consideration.

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