Johnson, Sessions Square Off in Health Care Panel

Free health care people will still pay for

An intense interest in health care, catalyzed by the recent health care bill in congress, made attendance so high to a local panel on the topic that it had to be moved to a new, larger location, from SMU to Cityplace Conference Center.

U.S. House representatives Pete Sessions (R-TX 32) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX 30) participated in the townhall-style panel Monday morning, representing two contrasting sides of the public health care option. Sessions called the plan “socialized medicine.”

Johnson, on the other hand, focused on the burdens facing the impoverished and uninsured in Texas, advocating the Democrats' plan as a solution.

“We need a uniquely American solution to build on the best of what works.  To foster competition among insurance plans and provide Americans with quality choices,” Rep. Johnson said in her opening remarks (YouTube). “If you have insurance through your employer, you can keep it. But those without insurance or who are unhappy with their current coverage, there will be a marketplace for individuals to comparison shop among public and private insurers.”

Sessions takes an opposing tack on the issue.

“Today, House Democrats released their prescription for Americans’ health care: a government takeover resulting in higher costs, more taxes, fewer choices, and intervention in the patient-doctor relationship…With a price tag of over $1 trillion, the Democrats’ plan would cut Medicare options for seniors and raise taxes on any employer or individual who does not embrace a government-run health care program. The result: an additional 4.7 million Americans could lose their jobs,” he said of the proposed health care plan in an official statement last month.

Holly LaFon has written and worked for various local publications including D Magazine and Examiner.

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