• 43°

Bright: ‘I won’t support healthcare plan as it is’

Congressman Bobby Bright spent a full day in Crenshaw County Monday as he traveled from Petrey to Luverne, to Glenwood and Rutledge. Bright first stopped at Petrey Town Hall Monday morning before traveling to First Citizens Bank in Luverne to hold a “meet and greet” with citizens there.

Bright also presented First Citizens Bank President William Petrey with a certificate of recognition as one of the top 400 banks in America.

Bright was the guest speaker at the Luverne Rotary Club’s weekly luncheon. Several other guests were in attendance, including Senator Wendell Mitchell.

Assistant D.A. Levi Nichols introduced Bright to the Rotary Club.

“I was told a long time ago that you had to pick a party—either Republican or Democrat,” Nichols said. “But that’s just not true today—Congressman Bright has already started to turn that mode of thinking…He’s out there and he’s accessible to the people.”

Bright agreed with Nichols on the subject of partisan politics.

“One of the most disappointing things in Washington, D.C., right now is the partisan politics,” Bright said. “Extremists create most of the turmoil—you’d think they’re speaking for our country, but they’re not.”

Bright, who said that he believed President Obama “wants the best for this country,” won’t support the healthcare plan before Congress as it is now.

“There are five plans right now begin debated,” he said. “I think they’re too radical and too large—we need to take one portion at a time.”

The United States has the best healthcare in the world, Bright said, but it is three times more expensive than the next industrialized nation closest to us. Sixty-one percent of Americans have health insurance with small businesses, Bright said, but if Congress adopted one of four of the proposed healthcare plans, it would add a big burden to the small businesses.

“We need a plan, but we need to take our time,” he said. “The ‘blue dogs’ stood up and said it was going too fast—I believe our leadership wanted it done fast to get it through, but we held our ground—but I won’t support the plan that’s now coming out of the House.”

Bright said he had received thousands of calls from citizens, and 95-98 percent of them are against the healthcare plan in its present form.

“I’m not sure they’re going to come up with a plan I can support,” he said. “Either way, it’s going to be expensive.”

When asked whether he was a ‘blue dog Democrat’, Bright said he was “an American first.”

“I’m not a blue dog or a red dog Democrat,” he said.

When it came to President Obama’s stimulus package, Bright said that it has given many Americans a “false security.”

“It’ll be gone in about a year and a half,” he said. “We’re only about a third of the way through the stimulus money because we didn’t get it out in 90 days to begin with, but it takes time for the government to put things in motion.”