Lawmakers talk health care reform in Missouri

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

Kansas City, Springfield, MO (KAIT) -- Health care reform has been a hot topic for weeks.

The Obama administration says by making quality health care available to all Americans, it will help reduce costs, but some lawmakers think differently.  On Monday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator John McMain joined Missouri Senator Kit Bond at a health care discussion in Kansas City.  In addition to patients, nurses, doctors and hospital administrators, the GOP lawmakers also heard from small business owners, church leaders and union representatives about their ideas on how to best reform the health care system.  At the invitation-only meeting, Senator McConnell said it's time to start over and focus only on the problems that need fixing. While Senator McCain said his constituents oppose a public option on health insurance, and that it will run private insurers out of business.

"There's been a reaction around the country. At town hall meetings in my home state of Arizona, they have been taking place all over America.  I have seen a level of dissatisfaction and even anger that I haven't experienced in the years that I have been a member of congress," said Senator John McCain.

The senators agree there is a need for health care reform but believe Congress needs to take common sense steps that will lower costs, increase access and improve patient care.  Meanwhile in Springfield, Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill held the last of her town-hall meetings.  More than a thousand people greeted her with boos, jeers, cheers and applause. McCaskill said Congress must do something to make health care more affordable and accessible to people.

"My job is to make sure that we don't go too far too fast, that we don't let  government take over health care, that we bring down health care costs and do  something about the deficit so everybody in America doesn't have to worry that  when they get sick the insurance company will figure out some way not to pay 'em," said Senator Claire McCaskill.

McCaskill will return to Washington in September with other legislators to continue work on the health care reform bill.

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