Reaction to Reform Plan

DALLAS - A new government report shows more than one out of every four Texans was uninsured in 2007 and 2008 - the highest percentage in the country.

President Obama says we have talked health care reform to death. He wants a bill on his desk by the end of the year.

His Wednesday night speech to a joint session of Congress appears to have won over some Americans. A CNN/Opinion Research poll shows the number of people favoring the Democrats' reform plan jumped from 53 percent to 67 percent after the address.

Mark Pollak, the owner of PDQ Press in Dallas, said he is encouraged by the Obama plan for a large national insurance exchange or market where he might be able to find a lower-cost health insurance plan for his four employees.

"As a small business owner, we're kind of at the bottom of the heap, and we need other options," he said.

Pollak now pays about $30,000 annually to insure two employees and their families.

As Obama talks of tax credits and perhaps a "public option" for small businesses that can't afford private plansm those sound good, too.

"You know, I feel like in the long run it would be less expensive for me and for everybody," Pollak said.

But while some are encouraged by what they heard Wednesday night, Republicans in Congress say watch out.

Rep. Michael Burgess of Lewisville says he doesn't like Obama's plan that requires businesses to either offer insurance or pay a fee if they don't. He also questions just how an "insurance exchange" would work.

"If it's a purchasing co-op that can go across state lines, hey ? I'm all for it," he said. "If it's the public option dressed up in a little bit different language, I'm not there."

Pollak says mandatory insurance doesn't bother him, since he offers it. He worries about being able to afford coverage if something isn't done soon.


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