2010-02-25 / Top Stories

Rep. Weiner Returns To Dem Club To Talk About Health Bill

By Dara Mormile

Rep. Anthony Weiner Rep. Anthony Weiner Congressman Anthony Weiner, whose district includes portions of Canarsie, hosted a special meeting last Thursday at the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club where he simplified some of the ideas behind President Obama’s health care reform bill, part of the proposed Affordable Health Care for America Act.

“When someone who’s uninsured has an emergency and goes to the hospital, taxpayers are usually the ones who have to pick up the tab,” Weiner said. “Basically, if everyone is required to get some type of coverage, the companies will have to make their insurance plans more affordable and the idea is for them to be more competitive and lower their rates.”

The congressman explained that under this bill, the government would not choose which type of health care people receive. For individuals or small business employees not covered by their employer, the proposal would establish a new Health Insurance Exchange where consumers can comparison shop from a variety of affordable health care options. Also, doctors and their patients will have more control over their health care instead of the insurance companies. Weiner said the bill would also possibly push Medicare to start coverage at age 55 instead of 65.

A large crowd was on hand last week to greet Weiner. A large crowd was on hand last week to greet Weiner. “And if people like their current plans, they can keep them – those who are insured will not have to make any changes,” he said.

Weiner said the present high cost of health care deters employers from enrolling their employees in insurance plans. The bill will encourage employers to enroll their employees into a plan that meets their budget and financial needs more effectively. He noted that under the bill, all individuals will be required to get coverage, either through their employer or on their own.

“Right now, the bill is at a standstill in the Senate,” he said. “We need to stop worrying about being bi-partisan and come to a decision. The long-term effects of the legislation and how it will help everyone is what needs to be examined and agreed on.

“What it comes down to is that you don’t want your hard earned tax dollars going to someone else’s health expenses and everyone, at some point, needs insurance. The legislation would make getting that coverage easier. ”

The Affordable Health Care for America Act is intended to slow the growth of out of control costs, introduce more competition into the health care marketplace and keep coverage affordable.

On Monday, Weinier released a recent statement on the White Houses revised health plan.

“I’m glad the president has put his finger on the scale at long last. “For months I have been saying that the American people need to hear directly from the President what he believes and wants from health care reform.”

Weiner said he was proud to return to the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club to meet with his constituents.

“This club was a big part of my past and it helped me develop my political skills,” he said. “I’m pleased to have the opportunity to be able to come back to the foundation that fostered my passion for helping residents tackle government issues – no matter which political party they’re affiliated with.” Weiner was chief aide to U.S. Senator Charles Schumer when Schumer was Congressman here, also tying his allegiance to the Jefferson club.

Democratic co-leaders Roberta Sherman and Bernard Catcher praised Weiner for his leadership in serving the community.

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