Legislators sound off on health bill passage - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Legislators sound off on health bill passage

By Bob Hallmark - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The health care reform bill got past the first hurdle, and East Texas legislators are sounding off. Saturday night, the House of Representatives approved the bill in a late night session, passing with just a 5-vote majority. Many were astounded.

"I'm not for it so does this mean I'm going to go to jail because I'm not going to buy insurance" says angry taxpayer Kay Mims of Tyler.

East Texans had been some of the loudest voices against the bill.

"1-trillion dollar government takeover of our health care system mister chairman lets not mortgage our future," said Texas Republican Congressman Jeb Hensarling.

"Its an incredible piece of double-dealing from all different with all different groups, and the people that really get hurt are the rank and file folks around that are just trying to make America work," said Congressman Louie Gohmert.

It was thought the votes were not there, but Congressman Gohmert says pressure was applied.

"I had Democrat friends tell me that the president had called them, he was putting pressure on them," Congressman Gohmert says.

The bill requires everyone to have health insurance. Individuals will be required to buy it, employers will be required to provide it or pay a penalty. And many are not happy with the passage.

"They should listen to the people who put them in office, and do what they want them to do not what they want to do , it's us that will suffer in the end not them" Mims says.

"I'm hoping it will be held up in the United States Senate, but if it's not, I'm going to Austin to ask Governor Perry to help me organize the governors to stop this bill because it's unconstitutional," says State Representative Leo Berman.

In order to pass the bill, house Democrats accepted an amendment that imposes tough new restrictions on abortion coverage in insurance policies.

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