Monday, March 22, 2010
Of Mississippi's three Democratic representatives to the U.S. House, only Bennie Thompson of the state's second congressional district voted for H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Rep. Travis Childers, district 1, and Rep. Gene Taylor joined 26 other Democrats voting no. The bill was passed solely by Democrats in a 224-to-206 vote, reports The New York Times.
"While I was unable to support today's legislation, I know how important reform is to making sure that hard-working North Mississippians have access to quality, affordable health care," Childers said in a statement issued late last night. "My opposition to this bill lies largely in its high cost, especially in today's economy. The President recently announced his plans to enact much stronger language prohibiting federally funded abortion, but I would have preferred to have these provisions included in the underlying legislation, and price remains a grave concern for me. I still don't believe we've gotten the legislation right. However, I will continue to support commonsense reform provisions and work to change measures that would negatively impact the people of the First District. I remain committed to effective, fiscally responsible health care reform that makes sense for North Mississippi, and I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to that end."
All of the Republican representatives in the House voted no on the bill, including Mississippi Rep. Gregg Harper. In a floor speech prior to the vote, Harper spoke strongly against the bill.
"Raising taxes, cutting Medicare and creating a new entitlement program is not health care reform," Harper said. "I will continue to work towards meaningful reforms for our health care system that will give employers more variety in making health coverage affordable and available to their employees and their families."