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No Rest on Health Care Reform During Recess

August 3, 2009

LAS VEGAS - Congress is in the first week of its long summer recess today, but lawmakers know they're unlikely to get much rest on the hot-button issue of health care reform. The Nevada Congressional delegation is about evenly split on the issue, with one lawmaker said to be on the fence.

Michael Ginsburg, a community organizer with the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, expects the insurance industry will be running plenty of commercials opposing health care reform during the recess. Meanwhile, members of his organization will be going door to door and working the phones in support of the reform.

"The House leadership is telling their members not to let a day go by where they don't communicate with their constituents, particularly on this issue of health care."

Prior to Friday's recess, changes were proposed in committee that Ginsburg says would impact the affordability of the reform package. He is concerned, because he believes the proposed changes would put health care out of reach for middle- and low-income people in Nevada and nationwide.

"Basically, we see this as the insurance company push to make the public option plan non-competitive with the private insurance industry - essentially killing the public option, or making it completely meaningless."

As of the recess, Nevada's senators were split on the issue. On the House side, the tally is one for and two opposed, but Congresswoman Dina Titus is believed to be a swing vote and will likely get much of the attention from both sides during the recess period.

President Obama has said he is surprised at the extent of the opposition when he believes the facts to be clear. Opponents have argued government will have too big a role under the plan, and they were successful in delaying action on it until after the summer recess.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV