In a press conference accessible by telephone to media outlets, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky; Barbara Kennelly, president of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare; Edward Coyle, executive director of the Alliance for Retired Americans; and Steve Regenstreif, AFSCME Director of Retiree Programs, responded to what they termed “lies and hypocrisy on Medicare, seniors and health reform.”
A prepared statement from the Democratic National Committee said, “Since the health insurance debate began, the GOP has attempted to spread lies and misinformation about how insurance reform will affect seniors. But the truth is, President Obama’s reforms will lower costs, protect choice and provide more options.”
Representative Schakowsky, who lives in Evanston and represents the Ninth Congressional District, said, “We can’t any longer allow seniors to bear the burden of our health-care system.” She pointed to a program in Wisconsin under which the state pays for prescription drugs for seniors. She is an advocate of a single-payer program of health insurance.
Though several pundits have said they see or foresee a meltdown in the movement toward health-insurance reform, Rep. Schakowsky appeared to be optimistic. She said she believes the House will pass a health-care reform bill “with a public option, with a timetable by October,” adding that she hoped the Senate would pass a similar bill.
She also said she hoped for a bipartisan bill, but added, “Everyone is going to see that Republicans aren’t going to support anything the insurance companies don’t support. Reluctantly, we will have to do it without them.”