In regards to Congressman Paul Hodes’ tele-town hall, I wanted to provide you with a few reminders regarding statements and positions that Hodes has taken on the contentious health care debate in the past. It should be interesting to see if the Congressman sticks to his “flat-earth society” assessment while talking to his constituents this evening, or if he blatantly backtracks on his support for government-run health care, the use of “reconciliation,” and increased taxes for Granite State families before the President’s joint address to Congress tomorrow night...
Paul Hodes Has Come Out In Favor Of A “Public Option” For Health Care. “U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes, who is running for the U.S. Senate in 2010, pledged to work in Washington on enacting a health-care plan with a public insurance option.” (Benjamin Kepple, “NH Democrats Revel In Majority Party Status,” The [Manchester, NH] Union Leader, 6/7/09)
Hodes Described The “Public Option” As A “Critical Element” Of Healthcare Reform. “‘I consider the public option to be a critical element of health care reform,’ he said. ‘It is absolutely important to introduce some competition to the health insurance companies. It is not going to drive them out of business, what it will do is lower everybody’s costs. That’s what we’re after.’” (Tom Fahey, “Hodes, Shea-Porter Not Wed To Public Health Plan,” The [Manchester, NH] Union Leader, 8/25/09)
Hodes Has Suggested Paying For Healthcare By Taxing Wealthier Americans, Saying “‘The Wealthiest Among Us’ Perhaps Should Shoulder More Of The Burden.” “Hodes, the 2nd District congressman who is now running for Senate, said that through insurance premiums and co-payments, insured Americans are now picking up the cost of health care for the uninsured and for waste in the system. He had previously said he is ‘very sympathetic’ to the stance of unions and others who don’t want to see health care reform result in a tax on the benefits of the middle class. ‘I think what people need to understand is that we are all paying right now, and through the nose, for a broken health care system,’ he said. Hodes called for ‘shared responsibility’ and said ‘the wealthiest among us’ perhaps should shoulder more of the burden.” (Lauren Dorgan, “Delegation Split On Health Care Fix,” Concord [NH] Monitor, 7/14/09)
Hodes Dismissed Opponents Of Healthcare Reform As Members Of The “Flat-Earth Society.” “In an interview with Foster’s Daily Democrat published on Friday, Hodes dismissed people who don’t support Obamacare as ‘the flat-earth society.’ Just to be clear, he stated that he was referring to ‘opponents of reform.’” (Editorial, “Hodes To The Elderly, You’re The Flat-Earth Society,” The [Manchester, NH] Union Leader, 8/31/09)
Hodes Spoke In Favor Of Using “Reconciliation” To Pass Health Care Reform. “‘Because health care reform is so important to the future in this country, because it is so necessary to cultivate a strong working economy, because we’re all paying too much and we can’t afford to wait, we may have to use the reconciliation process to move this bill past the Senate into a conference committee to get a bill to the president,’ Hodes told a friendly audience of about 80 people. ‘Health care reform is too important to be stopped by a minority that wants to preserve the status quo and keep on empowering the health insurance industry to get between us and our health care.’” (Shira Schoenberg, “Hodes Stresses Public Option,” The Concord [NH] Monitor, 8/25/09)
Hodes Was Unclear On Whether He Would Support A Bill That Does Not Include A “Public Option.” “When asked whether he could eventually support a reform bill that did not include a public option, Hodes responded that he wants to read the final bill before committing to what he would support. ‘I believe a public option is the best way to increase competition, deliver better quality and put people back in control of their health care,’ Hodes said. ‘If I can see some other way to accomplish that goal, it’s incumbent on me to keep an open mind because I don’t want to make the perfect the enemy of the good.’” (Shira Schoenberg, “Hodes Stresses Public Option,” The Concord [NH] Monitor, 8/25/09) (Tom Fahey, “Hodes, Shea-Porter Not Wed To Public Health Plan,” The [Manchester, NH] Union Leader, 8/25/09)