Fifth Distrist Congressman John Spratt says all lawmakers on Capital Hill–and those in the Obama Administration– need to slow down and think through things. He supported not voting on health care reform until after the August recess.
Spratt says health care reform is a work in progress. He says he understands the concern of people who don’t like the idea of a Washington-based health care system. But he notes that half of all health care in the US comes through the federal government, including Medicare, Medicaid, the Children?s Health Insurance Program, Tricare Standard, Tricare for Life, Veterans Health Care, Military Health Care, Indian Health Care, the Public Health Service, and the Federal Employees Benefit Program.
But Spratt says before deciding on a plan, they should choose among the best proposals in the House, Senate, and White House.
Spratt, Chairman of the US House Budget Committee, said when his committe wrote the budget resolution for the health care plan for fiscal year 2010, they required that every dollar spent be offset by a dollar saved by the plan. But he says only a little more than half of the House proposal would be offset–paid for by savings in the existing health care program. Spratt says he wants to see more of the cost offset by savings elsewhere in the health care system.
Spratt says three House committees have jurisdiction over health care, and they have converged on a specific health care reform bill, but the tri-committee draft could not muster enough votes to be reported to the House floor, until concessions are made. Spratt says in the Senate, two committees have yet to reach consensus.
Spratt says he has already met with several concerned groups in South Carolina on the issue and plans to meet with many more, after he recooperates from surgery to repair an Achilles tendon. That’s scheduled during the August recess.