Owens Affirms Support for Healthcare Reform Bill
by Jonathan Singer, Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 11:36:47 AM EST
Though the right wing blogs have tried to write an apocryphal history of the special election in New York's 23rd congressional district, the fact is that Democrat Bill Owens ran on a platform that included support for healthcare reform and won. Now Owens, freshly sworn in as a United States Congressman, is reiterating his support for healthcare reform.
Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY) can be counted on as a "yes" in this weekend's expected vote on the House Democrats' health care bill, announcing his support in a press release.
"This legislation will reform the insurance industry and provide increased access to affordable healthcare without taxing healthcare benefits, cutting Medicare benefits or raising taxes on the middle class, and that is exactly the direction we need to go," said Owens. "There are still changes I would like to make, including raising the payroll exemption for small businesses, but like I said last week, there is a fundamental need for reform and we must act with a sense of urgency."
With Owens' support, as well as that of California's new Congressman John Garamendi (whose office confirmed to me this afternoon his intention to vote in favor of healthcare reform), Speaker Nancy Pelosi is now two votes closer to the 218 required to get H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, through the House and on to the Senate. Still waiting to hear, though, whether Michael Barone or anyone else is willing to take me up on my bet that Pelosi will get her 218...