Idaho Senators vote against health care reform

Idaho Senators vote against health care reform


by Scott Evans
Idaho's NewsChannel 7


Posted on November 21, 2009 at 11:24 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 22 at 11:20 PM


BOISE -- Both Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch voted with the Republican Party against the health care reform bill. Crapo called it a massive attempt by the government to takeover and drive up the cost of health insurance and medical care.

Idaho's senators say Saturday night’s vote is more than just procedural. Historically, 97 percent of all bills brought up through this process to begin debate end up becoming law. And, as it stands now, Idahoans don't want to see this bill become law.

"I just think that one of the things that really scares me is, is it going to change for us?" said James Woods.

James Woods and his wife Katie both have health insurance through their employers. Both feel that reform needs to happen. Both feel the current 2,047 page bill is not the answer.

"How could they expect any person to be able to read through that and understand all the points that they're trying to come across," said Katie Woods. "They need to summarize it into key points for the common person, so we can understand what's going on."

Senator Mike Crapo agrees, saying this bill is not the kind of reform people want. After his vote tonight, he said, "It raises taxes by half a trillion dollars, increases premiums and cuts Medicare at the expense of our senior citizens to create a new entitlement program."

Senator Jim Risch said, "There is no question our health care system needs reform, but moving forward on a bill that increases the cost of insurance premiums, raises taxes and cuts Medicare benefits to meet an arbitrary deadline is wrong."

The Woods want answers.

"I think a lot of people want reform, but I think the problem with that is that people who currently have health care are afraid that their benefits and the things they currently have working for them might go down," said James Woods.

"Our health care system impacts the life of every American and any changes to it need to be carefully considered with consequences known, not rushed through so the President can check off another box on his list of campaign promises," Risch said.

"I hope something happens eventually," said James Woods. "I don't know how much longer we can keep flip-flopping back and forth. Hopefully a resolution comes quick to make the people who don't have health insurance have something, and people who do are able to keep the coverage that they currently have."

Senator Crapo says he's disappointed that the administration is not living up to its promises to have bipartisan efforts to reform health care.

In Saturday night's vote all 60 Democrats voted yea, while 39 Republicans voted nay. A Republican Senator from Ohio is the only senator not to participate in the vote.

Vice President Joe Biden celebrated tonight's Senate vote to debate health care reform at a fundraiser in Iowa. There he said, "Those who voted for reform will be rewarded, and those who voted against it will be held accountable."