By B.J. Reyes
^^President Barack Obama, with Vice Preisdent Joseph Biden at his side, makes a statement to the nation Sunday night following the final vote in the House of Representatives for comprehensive health care legislation, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, March 21, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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We don’t have room in the paper to print ALL of the reaction from local political types on the landmark health care reform bill passed in Congress on Sunday night.
Thus, here are some of the comments for perusal. We start with Gov. Linda Lingle at the top, the rest follow in alphabetical order.
“The $1.2 trillion government takeover of health care will cost Hawai‘i residents, conservatively, an estimated $300 million over five years in added costs to our Medicaid programs, which are already hemorrhaging red ink. This legislation will impose new taxes totaling $569.2 billion that will burden Americans for generations to come. It will also raise premiums, necessitate the rationing of health care, impede economic growth and job creation as well as require cuts to Medicare.”
For the governor’s complete statement, go HERE.
“Health insurance reform will provide unprecedented protections for every American consumer and will put health care decisions back into the hands of families, not insurance companies. American families will feel the impact of this legislation immediately. Insurance companies will no longer be permitted to deny coverage to children and adults due to a pre-existing condition. Insurance companies will no longer be permitted to kick students off of their parent’s health insurance when they reach the age of 26. And insurance companies will no longer be permitted to drop insurance for hard-working people all across the country because they get sick.
“Congress should instead have enacted medical malpractice reform, allowed for the interstate sale of health insurance and reformed the tax code to allow for an individual deduction on health insurance premiums. We must continue to fight for responsible health care reform that lowers costs and offers greater access to affordable health care.”
“What is interesting is that this health care bill carves out an exemption for Hawaii. If the health care bill is so good, Hawaii should not need an exemption from it. If, however, this bill is bad for our nation, Hawaii certainly needs to be exempted, but it begs the question as to why this bill should have passed at all. I look forward to hearing Hawaii voters speaking directly on this bill in the upcoming special election.”
“Health care coverage is a basic human right that should be afforded to every citizen. I congratulate the U.S. House of Representatives for its historic health care reform vote and also congratulate President Obama for succeeding in his reform battle against the opposition by special interests who sought to block his reforms.
“This special election is about reform because reform is what we need to give Hawaii hope for the future. My main opponents in this race have either spoken out against this reform or advocated for a path different from the President’s agenda of reform. I look forward to the President signing this legislation into law.”
“How can Speaker Pelosi say that this bill assures Americans more liberty when it calls for the intrusion of government into the lives of all of us? Today, Medicare, Social Security and now Government-Run Health Care has more people dependent on the government than ever before. This is a far stretch from what the Founding Fathers had intended.
“Since the health care debate heated up in March, over 7,617 jobs were lost every day. Not only did Congress fail to address the most important issues of the day—jobs and the economy—but they passed legislation that is guaranteed to hurt businesses and negatively impact jobs. Hawai’i needs congressional representation that works for our concerns, for our jobs and most importantly, for our families.”