Blue Dog Democrat says Obama health-care plan will bankrupt country

Jon Ward Contributor
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Rep. Jim Marshall, a Blue Dog Democrat from Georgia, said Friday that his vote against President Obama’s health-care reform in the fall was “a good vote” which he’ll cast again this time around, citing the legislation’s inability to control skyrocketing costs.

Obama’s proposal will bankrupt the country, Marshall said, during an interview on Fox News.

The president’s plan will only perpetuate current problems with the health-care system because it does nothing to make health-care providers and insurers directly accountable to consumers for the fees they charge for service, he said.

“The problem here is we’ve disconnected consumers, patients and physicians from cost considerations too much,” Marshall said in an interview on Fox News. “People are very concerned about cost; I’m concerned about cost. If you just do more of the same, which is largely what this does, more third party pay, that’s basically what the problem is here, then you’re going to get continued explosive costs.”

Marshall also said, “The reason it costs so much is because of the current structure. If you do more of the current structure, it’s just going to cost more. I think people realize that. People also realize that we’re bankrupting the country over this…the next generation is going to be buried in debt.” When questioned if this would happen if the current bill was signed into law Marshall answered, “That is my opinion.”

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Obama has argued that his proposal reduces the deficit by $132 billion over the first decade, citing a report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Republicans counter that the bill that passed the Senate — Obama’s proposal has yet to be scored by CBO — uses tricks and gimmicks to arrive at that number.

Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, has said the bill’s true impact would be to add $460 billion to the deficit in the first 10 years.

Marshall said he and many other of the 38 House Democrats who voted against the bill in the fall will continue to oppose it, but acknowledged that the president will use his bully pulpit and other tools at his disposal to lean on lawmakers to support it.

Democrats are facing a number of obstacles in their quest to get a bill through Congress.