U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick released the following statement today after voting on the health reform package before the House of Representatives:
"I voted no today because I was elected to listen to my constituents, seek the best possible information and use my best judgment to make the right decision for Idaho.
It was a difficult vote because, like all Idahoans, I truly do care about improving the health-insurance system, about reducing costs and about improving care. But I voted against this bill because it is critical to the long-term fiscal health of the country that we not get this wrong.
Nevertheless, I remain committed to working on what comes next. We must enact comprehensive tort reform.
* We must bring more providers to rural communities.
* We must increase the number of primary-care physicians.
* We must improve mental and physical care for our returning military veterans.
* We must work to reduce the costs within the health care system.
* We must decrease the Medicare rate disparity that hurts states like Idaho.
* We must shift the basis for medical payments from procedures to outcomes.
And I offer my firm commitment to hold the administration accountable for their promise that this legislation will not add to the deficit.
Whether you supported or opposed this bill, surely you agree that we must now work together to move beyond the rhetoric and anger that has so divided our nation. There are too many important issues facing this nation for us to allow the divisions created by this vote to remain beyond this vote.
No one should ever be elected to be a blind loyalist to a political party, on any issue, but we owe the people we represent nothing less than our deep commitment to work together on the issues facing this nation. The people of Idaho have such a commitment from me."