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Central Ohio Congressional Members React to House Health Care Vote

Central Ohio members of congress are back in their districts explaining their recent votes on the health care reform package. WOSU spoke with a couple of house members to see what's next.

15th Congressional District Representative Mary Jo Kilroy spoke with some of seniors at the Canterbury Senior Apartments. Kilroy, a democrat, voted yes on the bill. Kilroy said the bill did not include everything she wanted but she said it's a step toward increasing access to health care for millions of Americans.

She did not like the amendment that prohibits government subsidies or public insurance plans from paying for abortion procedures.

Kilroy voted no on the amendment but yes on the entire package. When asked if she would vote again for a bill that did not include an abortion provision she said...

"I'm not saying no to that possibility. I'm hoping that the senate works out better language than the house bill. But if it doesn't I want to see health care pass," Kilroy said.

Republican Steve Austria represents Ohio's 7th district. He voted no on the bill. Austria insists it will raise taxes. But he would consider voting for a bill if the reform process were slowed and focused lowering costs by means of tort reform and expanding health savings accounts.

"I certainly would be open to a bill of that nature. Unfortunately this bill does the opposite. It costs a trillion dollars. As a result it's going to raise taxes," Austria said.

The bill that passed Saturday included a public option but not one as broad as some democrats would have liked. Kilroy is confident the Senate also will have a public option in its version. Austria is optimistic, too, but for a different outcome. "I would oppose a government run or takeover of our health care system. And it certainly appears this plan is heading in that direction," he said.

When asked if there is anything at all that would cause the congresswoman to cast a no vote to the Senate bill Kilroy said naming deal breakers in her words "is a dangerous place to be."

"Not something that I want to say. I would like the Senate bill to respect women's rights. I would like a Senate bill that puts a public option into the bill. But I'm waiting to see what they will do," she said.

While republicans and democrats are having a tough time at compromise, Austria said he did not dislike everything about the bill.

"I liked the fact that the bill did look at helping those individuals with pre-existing conditions. I think it's very important that we be focused in that area," Austria said.

12th District Congressional Representative Republican Pat Tiberi said in a written statement he is for health care reform that actually lowers health care costs.