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Reform measure in U.S. House draws fire

Washington—A 1,990-page version of health care reform legislation unveiled by House Democrats Oct. 29 came under quick partisan fire as "simply the wrong kind of reform."

The Association is reviewing the document in light of ADA policy expanded by the 2009 House of Delegates meeting in annual session.

"The ADA continues to advocate for a common-sense approach that maintains the private delivery system, does not penalize those who choose a higher level of health care, improves the public health infrastructure, and ensures that the insurance industry provides consumers with the coverage and care that they pay for," said ADA President Ron Tankersley.

"Right now, no version of health care reform merits ADA support," Dr. Tankersley said.

The House Democrats' bill "to provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending, and for other purposes" moves the health policy debate to the U.S. House of Representatives as Senate leaders try to merge two bills in that chamber.

As printers disgorged the weighty tome unveiled Oct. 29, press releases issued from congressional offices. One of the first arrived from Rep. Mike Burgess (R-Tex.), a physician, who said, "I look forward to reading all 1,990 pages of this bill over the next few days and doing the work North Texans sent me to Washington to do.

"I do not deny that reforms are needed, but Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats have simply put forth the wrong kind of reform," he said. Rep. Burgess, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, chairs a congressional health care caucus.