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NEMS Daily Journal: Childers: I Want To Be Part Of The Health Care Solution

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NEMS Daily Journal: Childers: I Want To Be Part Of The Health Care Solution

U.S. Rep. Travis Childers said he's looking for a health care reform proposal to support.

But it's got to cut costs, eliminate waste, stop penalizing people with pre-existing conditions and reward personal responsibility.

"If the Senate offers a better bill, I am not opposed to that," said the conservative Democrat from Booneville during an hour-long districtwide telephone conference Tuesday night.

Some 7,230 people listened in, and 17 callers asked questions of Childers, who's serving his first full two-year term in the House.

The conversation was civil and topics ranged widely through the hour-plus event. Callers came from Hernando to Tupelo.

Off the bat, Childers said he doesn't support a House bill, HR 3200, which has been worked on by three committees.

Among the answers from Childers:

- He won't support any legislation that includes funding for abortions.

- Insurance exchanges, where private companies offer options, may bring competition to help lower premiums.

- Care must taken not to hurt small businesses with onerous mandates.

- Illegal aliens should not be covered, period.

As for requiring individual coverage, Childers said he thinks government mandates have merit to avoid treating people in expensive emergency room settings, when all they really needed was a doctor's visit.

"We have to put some personal responsibility on people," he added.

How we get there isn't on the table yet, though, he said.

In the end, Childers said, "I would not vote for a bill I wouldn't agree to be part of.

"I want to be part of the solution."

Childers also he doesn't believe HR 3200 proposes so-called "death panels," but would allow Medicare to pay for a voluntary, patient-initiated consultation with a physician about end-of-life situations.

"It makes sense to pay for a doctor to sit own and help people make decisions," he said.

The congressman said he chose the telephone-style event because it's a fast way to reach many constituents throughout the 24-county district.

Childers and many other members of Congress are spending their August recess touring their districts. Many events focusing on health care reform have drawn large crowds of vocal constituents.

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