Harper Opposes Government Takeover of Health Care

Rep. Gregg Harper of Mississippi's third congressional district says a government takeover of health care would be harmful to the state and senior citizens.

Harper addressed the issue on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. He says a Democratic health care plan contains massive cuts to Medicare Advantage and imposes heavy unfunded mandates to states.

“Do we have good doctors in this country? Do we have good surgeons? Do we have good hospitals? And do we have reasonable access to that care? The answer is clear that we do," said Harper.

Harper asked if the federal government can be trued to take over this important part of the people's lives. The first-term congressman said the last thing Americans need is to have some government bureaucrat standing between them and their doctors while making these important decisions.

Harper said said the Democrats' plan would "push unfunded mandates to my home state of Mississippi in the average amount of $360 million a year for the next 10 years."

Meantime, it appears Senate Democrats face a rough road in building support for the public option part of health care reform. They need 60 votes to block a filibuster and that means they cannot lose any of the senators on their side of the aisle.

But several moderates are making clear they don't like the public option and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid acknowledged one of them, Sen. Joe Lieberman, could force some changes during the amendment process.

The public option allows states to opt out, a provision included to attract moderate support as Senate Republicans try block the bill from even coming to a vote.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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