U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, of Arkansas's fourth congressional district, criticized Republicans yesterday for botching a bipartisan attempt to address what he termed "major issues" with President Obama's health care legislation. The House voted to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board that could cut Medicare costs in the future. According to Rep. Tim Griffin, who supported the repeal, the Board would lessen the quality of care in order to reduce Medicare costs.
Ross, along with 170 other democrats, voted against the repeal, despite the fact that he co-sponsored legislation to do away with the Board earlier this month. Ross said that the bill changed, and that the inclusion of tort reform measures would limit states' rights.
Tim Griffin and Reps. Steve Womack (R-Rogers) and Rick Crawford (R-Jonesboro) also co-sponsored the original bill. They voted for the repeal. Griffin said that he favors tort reforms that cap non-economic damages at $250,000 in medical malpractice suits, stating that health care costs have risen because doctors order unnecessary tests to hedge against lawsuits.
The House Bill most likely won't make it through the Democratic Senate, and Obama has threatened a veto.