Thursday, March 05, 2009

Emerson Calls Healthcare Goals "Lofty But Attainable"

"All of us have to be willing to give a little"
Rep. Jo Ann Emerson said access and doctor-patient relationships are the two biggest concerns about healthcare in southern Missouri.
But she also warned that people "won't like the government ordering them to get insurance."
Emerson participated in President Obama's White House Health Care Summit Thursday. Democrats have made the case that requiring people to get coverage increases the size of the pool and can reduce costs, but Emerson said she believed that concept had to be modified. "All of us have to be willing to give a little," said Emerson during the meetings.
Talking Points Memo has the full give and take with members and The President.
Emerson outlined rural concerns in a breakout session with White House policy advisers.
"First, access to health care is a primary concern. Second, we've got to find a new model of care that prioritizes the relationship between doctors and patients," Emerson said in a statement, referring to the big problems.
"Fortunately, I don’t think we are short of good reform ideas on either side of the aisle. We need to get started on the issues where we have broad agreement, and we need to shake up the model of health care in America a little bit," Emerson added. "I appreciate the president’s early involvement in this effort, and I hope we have the opportunity to address these cost issues sooner rather than later."
"That's clearly going to be a big area of contention," Rep. Roy Blunt is quoted saying in this Associated Press article.
The Congressman later released a statement saying he's ready to work with the President, but would oppose any policies that damage "the doctor-patient relationship."
"Republicans are ready to work with this Administration to improve our nation’s health care system so patients control their policies – not someone in Washington. Private companies are a significant piece of our nation’s health care puzzle and overly intrusive government programs will only stifle the competition that has lowered costs, created options and made innovative medical advances," Blunt said. "Bipartisanship is an achievable goal. I’m willing to work with President Obama to that end and lead the effort to make health care work for Americans, but I’ll also lead the fight against any proposals that damage the crucial patient-doctor relationship," Blunt added.

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