Former Congressman Charlie Stenholm: Urges Debate if Obama Healthcare can be Salvaged

Joining Truth for America was former Democratic Texas Congressman Charles Stenholm, a past guest on Truth for America and the Democratic representative for Texas’ 17th district since 1978.

“People voted for change, but change to what? asked Stenholm. “The Republicans didn’t win–the Democrats lost because of their policies. The Republicans control the House, the Democrats control the Senate, and the President controls the White House. There is going to have to be some compromise if either party expects to win in 2012.”

Stenholm would like to see the budget committee act in the public interest and restrain spending. At the top of Stenholm’s list is reducing the long term cost of entitlements, and ending the flawed perception that reducing entitlements will jeopardize the health of seniors.

“Nobody knows what’s actually in the Obama healthcare bill. I doubt if anyone ever read the entire bill. But I do know that it has some tremendous omissions: nothing dealing with tort malpractice reform; the ability to have insurance follow insured across state lines; and to put more responsibility on the individual person for end of life decisions,” said Stenholm.

Stenholm doesn’t see the Congress repealing the Obama healthcare bill. He doesn’t think the economy could withstand the fight. The Bill has become too politicized. For it to work there has to be some open debates where Republicans and Democrats can state their policies on the floor of the House. “It’s time to stop looking backward, and to start looking forward,” said Stenholm.

Stenholm even suggested the ultimate degree of transparency—airing the debates on C-Span so that people can see and listen, and then vote.

While Stenholm voted against the Bush tax cuts, he now believes that the tax cuts could be extended, but not beyond one or two years. He also would consider a flat tax.

“The key is that whatever tax decisions are made, they should be discussed publicly,” said Stenholm.
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