Health care law debate begins anew

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by Brad Watson WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on March 26, 2010 at 6:31 PM

DALLAS - With the lawmaking on health care bill over, the debate in Texas is entering a new phase with the November elections ahead.

Winning hearts and minds on the political points is starting.

Texas told News 8, “The American people, and particularly in Texas, don't like this bill," said Sen. John Cornyn.

But, Luke Hayes, director of Organizing for America Texas, disagrees.

“This is a big victory for the American people," he said.

Organizing for America Taxes is supported by the Democratic National Committee

Hayes claims the Democrats' pitch will be the quick cost benefits.

“You are going to see consumer protections," he said. "And, if you’re a small business owner, you are going to see benefits of being able to provide coverage for your employees.”

Cornyn claims Texans won't see them.

“This bill actually makes the cost curve go up makes it more expensive," he said. "So, it really is doesn't solve the problem, it makes it worse.”

The state forecasts Texas taxpayers face $24 billion in higher costs for Medicaid over the next ten years.

“Which is really going to be very difficult for the Texas legislature and the governor and lieutenant governor to deal with in this upcoming legislative session," Cornyn predicted of the costs.

But, Democrats say the Congressional Budget Office put Texas' extra Medicaid bill at $1.4 billion over a decade.

“We don't see it as an increased cost but as a way to reduce the deficit,” Hayes said.

In the fall elections, Republicans say the battle cry is "repeal and replace" the bill in an appeal to gain a majority in Congress again. 

"I think there is going to be a huge backlash particularly on the health care," Cornyn said.

But, Hayes forecasted otherwise.

“We feel that they won't be getting anywhere and at the end of the day this is the new law of the land," he said.

What's not ending is the debate over health care.

Cornyn and Hayes are the guests discussing health care on Inside Texas Politics at 9 a.m.  Sunday during the news hour of News 8 Daybreak.

E-mail: bwatson@wfaa.com

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