KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Missouri's fifth district representative Emanuel Cleaver says he doesn't think yesterday's passage of a bill to repeal the federal health care law poses a real threat. The Senate's likely to reject the measure. But Cleaver, a democrat who strongly supports health reform, says he is concerned with GOP plans to try to defund the law in the coming months.
"If the funds are withheld or if significant dollars are withheld, there won't be the change we had hoped for, particularly in poor communities and disaffected communities," Cleaver says.
Cleaver says the move could jeopardize money that health centers like Cabot Westside Health Center and Swope Health Services are slated to receive.
Across the state line, freshman representative Kevin Yoder, a Republican, says yesterday's vote marks an important step towards finding better ways to reduce health costs and improve quality.
"This huge government monstrosity that was passed last year is making it difficult for the economy to recover, and it is not reducing costs as it was promised," Yoder says. "Insurance premiums are still going up, and we just need to find a better piece of legislation."
Missouri's sixth district representative Sam Graves also voted for the repeal. The republican chairs the House's small business committee and says the health law puts new burdens on small businesses.
Cleaver and other democrats, meanwhile, say tax credits and other provisions in the health law are helping small businesses insure more workers.
Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.
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