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SD representatives’ house health care vote sticks to party lines

Reaction to this weekend’s passage of the health reform bill in the House of Representatives broke along party lines in San Diego’s congressional delegation, as did their votes.

The two San Diego Democrats, Susan Davis and Bob Filner, voted for the

bill, known as the “Affordable Health Care for America Act.” Republicans Brian Bilbray, Duncan D. Hunter and Darrell Issa were opposed.

The measure passed 220-215 and now moves on to the Senate.

Davis said it begins to “change the dynamic” to put patients first in

the U.S. health care system.

“It’s time to create a system that is more responsive to the patient,

because people do not feel embraced by the health insurance industry in our

country under the current system,” Davis said. This bill will provide more access to health care for all Americans, because health care should not be denied, taken away or haggled over at the will of insurance companies.”

The plan toughens regulations on insurance companies, requires most

Americans to carry health insurance and large companies to offer coverage. The federal government will provide policies for people who don’t get it from their employer.

Issa and Bilbray warned that the plan will damage the economy.

“This 2,000-page, $1.3 trillion bill will cost Americans more jobs, add to an exploding federal deficit, make it more lucrative for trial lawyers to sue doctors, and take away health care choice,” Issa said.

“At the same time, it won’t control the growing cost of health care. The American people are opposed to this flawed bill and I expect they will hold those who ignored their concerns accountable.”

Bilbray said the spending is a bad idea in a time of high unemployment, and coming on the heels of bailouts for the financial and automobile industries.

Neither Filner nor Hunter released statements after the vote.

Before the vote was passed, an amendment was passed to place

restrictions on abortion coverage.

Passage in the Senate is uncertain because 60 votes are needed to end

debate on an issue.

Republicans are seen as united in their opposition, while Democrats

representing traditionally conservative states might not support the so-called “public option,” the issuance of health insurance by the government.

Independent Sen. Joseph Lieberman, of Connecticut, who normally caucuses with Democrats, also is against the public option.