July 24, 2009

Murphy sounds off on the health care debate

Source: NYSUT News Wire
rep scott murphy

Rep. Scott Murphy (D-NY)

Rep. Scott Murphy, D-NY, who took his congressional seat in late April after defeating Republican Jim Tedisco, discussed with Politico magazine whether it's worth voting for a tax increase to get health care reform. Murphy replaced Kirsten Gillibrand, who was appointed by Gov. David Paterson to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton after Clinton became secretary of state.

"There are a number of things in the plan that are going to save money, but we can do a lot more to figure out how to pay for this before we turn to cash-strapped New Yorkers, who are hard hit already, and ask for more of their tax dollars," said Murphy. "We need to have real reform before we turn to taxes."

More than 48 million Americans - including 9 million children - have no health coverage. And with the economy in its current downturn, the situation is expected to get worse with more people losing their coverage.

NYSUT and the National Education Association, one of NYSUT's national affiliates, support health care reform that ensures that every person in America has quality, affordable health care coverage. The unions oppose health care proposals that would tax employer-provided health benefits. NEA also supports a choice of plans and providers, both public and private.

Meanwhile, Rep. Eric Massa, D-NY, wants to see health care reform include a robust public plan. Massa has reportedly joined a group of about 50 progressive lawmakers who have all agreed to vote against any bill that does not meet certain criteria for a public option.

NEA urges members to keep up the pressure and continue to encourage your congressional representative to support health care reform that ensures quality, affordable coverage without taxing health benefits.