Nearly 700 call into Rep. Shuler’s tele-town hall meeting on healthcare

Published 3:46 pm Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nearly 700 Western North Carolina constituents phoned into Rep. Heath Shuler&squo;s tele-town hall meeting Thursday evening to ask questions and make comments about healthcare reform efforts in Congress.

&dquo;This was a huge success,&dquo; said Rep. Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville. &dquo;I fielded dozens of questions and heard constituents&squo; opinions about the healthcare bill pending in the House of Representatives. This was a far more efficient way to address concerns about the healthcare bill than large public forums, which have often turned into shouting matches and political grandstanding.&dquo;

Rep. Shuler, who plans to host another tele-town conference on September 1, supports healthcare reform and wants to lower the ever-increasing costs of health insurance.

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He does not support the current health reform bill in the House because it doesn&squo;t do enough to slow the rising costs of health insurance or provide enough incentives to spur wellness and prevention efforts. Rep. Shuler also opposes the provision that would mandate all but the smallest businesses to provide health benefits or face fines.

&dquo;Health care is vital to all Americans and I will continue to work to improve the legislation in Congress,&dquo; Rep. Shuler said. &dquo;While we need to expand healthcare benefits to more Americans, we also need healthcare reform that doesn&squo;t add to our federal budget deficit or cause people to lose health benefits they currently enjoy.&dquo;