Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Health Care: Dina's for the Bill

Now we know the answer to that question we've been asking since July.

Democratic Rep. Dina Titus dropped her opposition today to the House health care bills, saying changes have been made since she voted against it in committee in July and it has now won her support.

Titus had been walking a political line of supporting health reform, but opposing several elements of the House plan -- particularly its surtax on higher-wage earners she feared would snare many couples and small business owners in her Southern Nevada district.

The balance was a smart political move in Southern Nevada, where the congresswoman's district remains politically split. She will have to face voters next fall.

“For more than six months I have discussed the need for health care reform with my constituents, and time and again I heard from small business owners who are struggling to afford health care coverage,” Titus said in a statement. "After having serious concerns about the impact the first health care bill would have on small businesses, I am pleased that the new House bill takes important steps to make health insurance more affordable and accessible for the uninsured, employers, and those with preexisting conditions.”

The main objection for Titus had been the surtax on those making more than $280,000 annually ($300,000 for married couples) to pay for subsidies to help the uninsured buy policies. The new bill, which could go for a vote in the House in coming days, raises the threshold for the tax to $500,000 for individuals and $1 million for families.

Dina Titus has FINALLY come around and officially endorsed the HR 3962. Count one more vote for the health care bill on Saturday. She's doing the right thing for America and for her political future.

Believe it or not, not all of us in the 3rd District are uber-wealthy Seven Hills/Summerlin jetsetters. Many of us are hurting and in need of real help. And yes, that includes health care reform! Just think of all the families here who have lost jobs and don't have health insurance, or have lost their homes to foreclosure due to falling behind on medical bills.

While I still have my doubts as to whether HR 3962 goes far enough to address health care reform, I do think it's a good start... Especially since a decent public option was mostly preserved in the bill.

So let's thank Dina Titus for delivering on health care and make sure she keeps working for us in Congress!

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