Bright proposes caution for changes in healthcare

Published 4:41 pm Thursday, January 7, 2010

The continued hot debate concerning the overhaul of the nation’s healthcare system was the focus of U.S. Congressman Bobby Bright’s remarks during his visit to Greenville Thursday.

Bright, who was the guest of Senator Wendell Mitchell at the Greenville Rotary Club, said he believed the majority of his constituents wanted access to quality healthcare for their families and neighbors, but not at an exorbitant price to the health of the ailing economy.

“I can tell you that 70 percent of people in District 2 would benefit from the current proposed bill. I can also say according to our surveys, 80 percent do not want the healthcare plan that is on the table,” Bright said.

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Bright, who voted against the bill, said he believed a slower, more cautious approach to repairing the healthcare problem was needed, one that would allow the sluggish economy to rebuild itself first.

“Otherwise, we are adding a robust, very expensive piece of healthcare we just can’t afford,” he said.

“Many people seem to share my concern over our becoming too dependent on the federal government in managing healthcare as well.”

Bright suggested other measures should be taken to help the ailing system, including allowing insurance carriers to cross state lines; offering market-driven exchanges so people with pre-existing conditions can still get competitive rates and coverage, and substantial tort reform.

“All of these measures would help contain the rising cost of healthcare. I really wanted to vote ‘yes’ but it was just too quick and robust a change for me to support it,” Bright said.