Today, United States Representative Marion Berry (AR-01) released this statement regarding the House passage of H.R. 4872, The Reconciliation Act of 2010 to Amend the Senate Health Care Reform Bill:
"I appreciate and am humbled by the thousands of Arkansans who have called, written, e-mailed, and met with me over the last year to express their concerns about health care in this country. While there seems to me a broad agreement that our current health care system is unsustainable in cost and coverage, I cannot endorse this bill as it is currently written."
"Throughout this debate, I have stood by my conviction that the Senate health care reform bill does not adequately address the issue of federal funds being used to pay for abortions. Despite the recently announced Executive Order addressing this issue, I remain concerned that this legislation does not go far enough to satisfy my concerns. As a pro-life Member of Congress, I believe that abortion is fundamentally wrong, and taxpayer money should not be allowed to support it."
"Beyond the issue of abortion, there were several concerns in the bill that I fought for and feel were not addressed properly. There are common sense ideas that would lower costs throughout the system, such as having the government use its bargaining power to negotiate prescription drug prices. Some of my other ideas would increase quality and fairness in our health care provider network by increasing Medicare reimbursement rates for rural providers, who currently are compensated far less than their counterparts in urban areas. This unfair system is forcing our doctors to stop caring for Medicare patients or to leave rural areas completely."
"I believe in health care reform, I just want it done right. I believe true reform would reduce the deficit and pay for itself from savings from our current system, not from putting more pressure on our hospitals and other providers. As I have said before, if you are willing to say what you are against, you need to be able to say what you are for too. That's why I introduced my own health care reform bill, H.R. 4813."
"Although I will vote against this bill, I do hope this is the start of a new path in reforming what many agree is a broken system. It is our duty in Congress to try to work together and keep citizens informed on this issue and other legislation, so that our actions in Washington may successfully reflect the will of the people. My decision is dictated by my conscience and my solemn obligation to follow the voices of my constituents in the First Congressional District of Arkansas, who have honored me with the opportunity to serve them for 14 years."