First Posted: 11/13/2009
Health care reform was the dominating topic at a senior round table discussion with Rep. Virginia Foxx in Pilot Mountain yesterday.
The forum was held at the Edward M. Armfield Senior Center, where seniors gathered to hear Foxx speak and answers questions on health care reform, Social Security and Medicare.
Foxx began by praising the Armfield Center. She then went on to voice her opposition to the health care reform bill that passed in the U.S. House of Representatives last week, explaining why she voted against it.
Its been a very contentious issue as you all know … I do not want to see the government take more control over our lives, she explained.
One component of the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962) would set up a government-run public insurance plan. Foxx said, I like to see things done at the local level.
The congresswoman argued that the bill will not bring down the cost of health care and that reform shouldnt be rushed.
We need reform … but there is not an urgency to get something passed, Foxx remarked.
Foxx told the crowd gathered in the Armfield gym that the nation has its largest financial deficit ever. She claimed that the deficits of the first 43 presidents combined still cannot match the amount of deficit the country has undertaken in the first nine months of the Obama administration, $1.4 trillion. The Republican representative also said that this year, for the first time, Social Security is paying out more than it is taking in.
We have to do something, Foxx urged.
After Foxx spoke for 15 to 20 minutes, discussion facilitator Jack Marion asked a panel of four seniors from the area to each ask Foxx questions. The panel included Lessie Brindle, Jack Miller, Shirley Key and Shirley Nichols.
Brindle began by asking Foxx if the new bill would affect employment in Surry County since hospitals and medical offices are some of the largest employers. Foxx said that opponents of the bill fear it will cause the loss of 5 million more jobs in America.
People are going to lose jobs, because it will raise taxes, Foxx remarked.
Miller next asked Foxx about a section of the bill, which he said gives health care coverage to illegal immigrants. A woman from the crowd also brought up the illegal immigrant issue when the audience later asked questions.
The representative said she could not explain the reasoning of people who believe those unlawfully in the country should be able to tap into national health care coverage. She said she advocates closing the borders.
Key asked Foxx about the controversial statement she made on the House floor that the health care bill was a bigger threat to Americans than terrorists.
Foxx defended her statement, saying, This bill is subversive in many ways, because it quietly takes away freedoms … To me, taking away our freedom gradually is much more threatening than an outside source.
She later added, One of my concerns is freedom of choice … What we need are choices and not the government dictating to us.
During the second round of questions, people asked the representative about Medicare, Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage. She pointed out that the bill would reduce or eliminate some of these funds.
Nichols ended the panels questions by asking what concerned citizens should do. Foxx encouraged them to contact their representatives, educate themselves about the issues and help educate other people.
After a few questions from the audience, the forum ended and people came up to speak with Foxx personally.
The full text of the approved health care bill that has moved on to the Senate can be found at house.gov by searching for bill number 3962.
Contact Meghann Evans at [email protected] or 719-1952.