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Taylor Daily Press: Rep. Carter Weighs In

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Location: Washington, DC

The line in the sand has been drawn and lawmakers across the country, whether Republican or Democrat, right or wrong, what their constituents want or not, are muddling through what side to be on in the health care debate. Others though, including Congressman John Carter, who represents Taylor and District 31, know exactly where they stand and believe they know exactly what will move the country forward on clearing the contention surrounding the issue.

"Everything they want proposed in (Sen. Max Baucus' bill and HB 3200) I'm opposed to," Carter said. "I think as long as the public option is in a bill I think there are going to be real issues."

The Senate bill recently introduced by Baucus (D-Mont.) quickly drew criticism from Carter, who said Republicans wouldn't vote on it because of the public option and the rising cost.

"Most people do not want to take things away from Medicare to create a new program and that is one of the things this (bill) does. People don't want to increase the debt and that's one of the things this (bill) does and they don't want the government running their healthcare," Carter said. "That is certainly the problem I have with it."

Carter, a Republican, said his constituents have overwhelming expressed opposition in mail and town hall meetings to public option for health care and the amount of spending to create a public healthcare system and he stands by that, saying there are other options.

Suggesting money saving efforts like tort reform and the portability of insurance as well as examining the real costs associated with proposed plans, Carter said he would vote for measures that took the financial burden off of citizens.

"I think there are things that we can do - tort reform, give people the option to buy across state lines, let people have their health care stay with them if they change jobs. I can support that but I'm not going to support this massive change in the way we take care of the health care," Carter said. "I just don't think it's good for the country."

HB 3200, which led to a widespread protests at town hall meetings around the country during the legislature's August break, has not moved forward since its proposal. Baucus' senate bill has been met with much criticism, as well, Carter said.

"I think everybody agrees we'd like to come up with something that would bring cost down and expenses down," Carter said. "But the issue continues to be pretty fluid. It's not nailed down at all and I don't think it will be any time soon. That's going to be pretty difficult to do, I'll tell you that."

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