Friday, April 17, 2009

Health Care listening tour

Conferring with Representative JoAnn Emerson (R-MO-08) at the Health Care Listening Tour event

Monday, I joined my colleagues Congresswoman JoAnn Emerson (R-MO-08) and Congressman Dennis Moore (D-KS-03) to listen to a group of health care providers, advocates for the uninsured and experts on reform at the Liberty Memorial. The nation has 47 million uninsured and the entire system is in need of a major overhaul. We simply cannot afford to continue down the path of skyrocketing costs. Health care is not a privilege; it is a fundamental right.

I am proud to say that this listening session, unlike many around the country, was bi-partisan and part of an effort to actually identify solutions as opposed to grand standing on promises. Congresswoman Emerson is a Republican and dear friend who represents the boot-heel of Missouri. I think all of us left the forum with a better idea of the complexity of the issue and some ideas on how to untangle the web.

We cannot afford to be partisan when it comes to health care. The need is great and the price tag huge, but we have to solve this problem. As I heard at the forum, we all know the system is broken, now we need to take the bold steps necessary to fix it.